A Playbill for Movies Is Coming to a Theater Near You

The mag will be enhanced with AR and include bonus studio material

Editor: Josh Rios
Headshot of Sara Jerde

The creators of Moviebill can recall seeing Broadway plays and walking away with their Playbills in hand, taking a bit of the show home with them. Now, they’re about to give moviegoers a similar experience.

Across the nation, 1 million copies of the first issue of Moviebill will be given to moviegoers, starting today, at Regal Cinemas for moviegoers who purchase a ticket to see Avengers: Infinity War.

Moviebill’s first issue is Avengers-themed and the cover showcases the Marvel characters.

“This is the experience of going to the movies that you can take home with you,” Moviebill creator James Andrew Felts said.

The Moviebill is about the same size of a Playbill, but the paper is thicker and each page is enhanced with augmented reality.

For the first issue, for example, Groot will talk to you. On another page, you can watch trailers of upcoming movies. On the last page, where a Geico ad appears, the gecko will go over insurance policies.

The content inside is written by Moviebill staff, which has grown to include six editorial team members. The pieces range from Q&As with actors to bonus content from the studios.

The magazine is funded by advertising.

“It was very important for us to go to the studio and say, ‘you don’t have to pay a dime,’” Moviebill creator Matthew Shreder said.

There are 2 million issues planned for its next issue, with content about the upcoming Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. A Mission Impossible — Fallout issue is also in the works. The founders hope to have Moviebill issues for the top 12 movies of the year.

“We’re a new vehicle to deliver the best bonus content to the people who want it,” Felts said, adding, “It’s a new touch point for (studios) to communicate with their most loyal fans.”

@SaraJerde sara.jerde@adweek.com Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.