Earlier today, we shared news about the Pacific Rim "Super Ticket," which costs more than a regular movie ticket and comes with a lot more, too. Specifically you get a digital copy of the movie when it hits home video. Similarly, last month fans could spend a whopping $50 on a World War Z "Mega Ticket," which included a future digital copy as well as concessions and some merchandise. My question about these bonus-pack options is this: what if you don't like the movie and then you're stuck having already bought a copy of it? The same kinda applies to the rest of the swag except the popcorn. What if you come out not actually wanting the poster or T-shirt?
"Super" and "Mega" tickets seem best suited for a second-time viewing for people who already love the movie. But there are a lot of movie fans who are certain they just will like World War Z or Pacific Rim (I know a bunch of people who are really sure about the latter sight unseen). And there are people who have traditionally bought DVDs and Blu-rays without having already seen the movie they're buying, rather than simply renting it first. Now, another comparison could be the pledgers to Kickstarter and other crowd-funding site campaigns for films in the works. Usually they get the incentive of a digital copy even though there is that chance they won't love the finished product.
I don't know how digital copies of movies became so popular or if they truly are as popular as all these incentive packs make them out to be. It's not something that would draw me to pay extra for a movie ticket. I'm more of a free T-shirt guy, but again that's "free" T-shirt (I often wear a Cloud Atlas T-shirt despite having disliked the film just because it was free and also it's quite comfortable). Again, there's the possible matter of paying extra for an extra something you don't want after the movie disappoints. But a generic Star Trek or Superman logo shirt could still be worth an extra few bucks for the usual fan of the property who didn't end up loving Star Trek Into Darkness or Man of Steel. A shirt of the poster art for either wouldn't be as enticing (my local Regal actually does offer STID shirts for a special price with a large popcorn).
Obviously these sorts of tickets are best for movies with big movie-geek appeal and therefore a built-in audience. You wouldn't have one of these for, say, The Big Wedding. Or even a potential blockbuster that is also potentially not, like Oblivion. Nobody can foresee wanting the digital copy, poster and collectible 3D glasses with something that unknown (aka original). "Super" and "Mega" tickets could also be easily applied to kids movies. Pay $30 for Monsters University. and you get a digital copy and a Mike and Sully coloring book. Pay more for Despicable Me 2 and get the copy, a kids concession meal and a little Minion action figure. It's like a pricey version of the kid meals you find at fast food joints, and the toy inside is better quality.
The World War Z pack surprised me for being so expensive for a lot of stuff that just sounds like it's made to seem like you're getting more bang for the buck. Small posters and 3D glasses you'll never wear again, though, is junk. We already think we pay too much for the movies. For a $50 ticket I want more than branded swag. I want a soundtrack or a special-edition printing of a book or comic book or an appearance by Brad Pitt himself (he showed up for the free previews, so why not for the paid?).
I'm pretty sure of only one movie out this year that I'll be seeing more than once, and that's Anchorman 2. That's a good one for a "Mega Ticket" (and it's the same studio as World War Z), but otherwise I'm going to need something really great to make me spend more than the already exuberant ticket price. If it's $50, I'd also like a special limited-edition plush Ron Burgundy that comes with a little plush Baxter by his side. And maybe a minibar-size bottle of scotch, because these things better know the films and their fans well and cater specifically to them.
What would lead you to pay more at the movies for a "Super Ticket"? A digital copy, discounted concessions, movie merchandise, etc.?
Here are some responses received so far via Twitter: