If you listened closely yesterday morning, you could practically hear a comic book nerd revolution in the making. On Monday, fanboys and fangirls erupted when it was announced that Facebook users could determine the fate of where The Avengers will be shown to a group of lucky moviegoers on April 14th, nearly three weeks before it opens.
With Buffy director Joss Whedon at the helm and killer superhero source material, The Avengers promises to be one of the summer’s biggest films. It stars, in case you haven’t already heard, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johannson, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner. Now with some shrewd Facebook marketing, the film is sure to create absolute pandemonium.
Here’s how the exclusive fan screenings work: Marvel Studios announced yesterday the movie will have advance screenings around the globe in cities where The Avengers has picked up the most Facebook Likes. Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Houston and Miami have already accumulated enough fans to garner sneak preview fan screenings in IMAX 3D. If your hometown didn’t make the cut, don’t worry — Marvel has a few more Facebook tricks up its sleeve. The studio is planning another round of screenings in five more cities wherein anxious Avengers fans can vote for their city to be on the sneak preview list. Voting will go down on The Avengers’ super-packed Facebook page. Currently, The Avengers has 962,000 fans, and with incentives like this one, we’re sure that number will absolutely explode.
We’ll be closely watching the social media marketing and Facebook trends of Hollywood blockbusters like The Avengers this summer. Why? Well, first off, because it’s fun to see what kind of big-bucks campaigns Tinsel Town will roll out online. But also because these trends are bubbling over to influence how other businesses use social media. Films like The Muppets used Facebook for tickets and screenings last year, and now we’re seeing clothing companies and other businesses using Facebook to move merchandise while promoting events. Hollywood wants you to hit that Like button before you grab the bucket of popcorn… and so far, their plan seems to be working.