As it seeks a big-event feel, 'Glee' 3-D movie adds advance screenings
Twentieth Century Fox is taking a page out of the Justin Bieber playbook for its upcoming "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie," targeting fans with a set of advance screenings. The studio says it will hold showings on Aug. 10, two days before the movie officially opens.
Ticket packages to the screenings, which will take place in 291 theaters across North America, cost $30 and include one movie ticket, 3-D glasses, a pin, a hat, a bracelet and a backpack. Shipping is another $5.95.
Fox appears to be aiming to create an event feel around the film along the lines of a live concert. The tickets will be sold via a dedicated website starting Thursday, with visitors to the movie's Facebook page given the opportunity to buy tickets starting Wednesday.
Paramount tried a similar advance-screening gambit with "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never," to strong effect. The screenings frequently sold out, and the film went on to gross $73 million, a sturdy total for a documentary concert film.
The "Glee" movie, which stars TV series regulars Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and Jane Lynch, combines performances from the cast's recent 40-show concert tour with pieces of backstage footage.
A concert film is an appealing (and relatively easy) brand extension for a touring show, particularly those aimed at a spend-happy younger demographic, though studios are mindful that they need to produce and market a movie as more than just a straight recording if they're to lure ticket buyers. The genre has had a mixed record: While the Bieber and Hanna Montana concert movies were a success, the Jonas Brothers film flopped.
-- Steven Zeitchik
Photo: "Glee" performers in a 2010 episode. Credit: Carin Baer/Fox