Hollywood Studios continue to find ways in which they can harness the worldwide web while bringing it to a local level for all moviegoers. Lionsgate did just that when they teamed up with Groupon to sell $6.00 tickets to their latest release The Lincoln Lawyer, starring Matthew McConaughey.
The studio joined up with the social discount site Groupon to sell the discount tickets to The Lincoln Lawyer. The special deal scored 190,000 ticked sales with 40,000 of those who, in reality, showed up to cash in the tickets. Of those show saw The Lincoln Lawyer at a discount rate, 89% of them said they wouldn’t have seen the movie if not for Groupon.
If Lionsgate was just looking to increase the number of people who saw the movie, then they achieved that goal. In reality, if you do your math, all those discounted tickets probably resulted in no extra cash for the studio. More likely, they lost money if you factor in the commission earned by both Groupon and the exhibitors.
The promotional campaign gave the movie an extra boast at the box office, placing it in the top five movies for the weekend, creating an image of being a hit movie. Those who saw the movie by purchasing a discount ticket will more or less recommend the movie to their family or friends. They will pay full price. Groupon calls the discounting of tickets an advertising ploy to their millions of subscribers.
Naysayers may call this falsifying the box office score, but still the box office is based on dollar amounts. I can see how promoting discount tickets pushes promotion out by word of mouth, plus attention to the media, movie web sites and the like. ROI looks pretty darn good.
The Lincoln Lawyer was the first movie to implement this tactic, and I am sure it won’t be the last time. I recommend keeping your ear to Groupon and other similar discount services if you want to nab good discount movie tickets. Frankly, I’d love to see movie ticket wars between these discount service companies. What a great way to promote a movie!