By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Most fans who attend first screenings which are part of IMAX’s poster rewards program (formerly known as Fanfix and 12:01 Exclusive) are going to feel slighted should the current trend of AMC Theatres getting the exclusive continues. As a collector who knows supply and demand is at the heart of how any collectible market works, just why one movie theater chain is mainly distributing these items is questionable. Before, in the early part of last year, Cineplex Canada, Regal Theatres and AMC were on board for Interstellar. Three prints were offered and each theatre chain had only one or two of the set. By trading through forums or purchasing the missing pieces through eBay, a complete set can be attained. This method was fair to everyone interested in obtaining this triptych.
Since then, the opportunities have dropped. Regal and AMC (USA-centric theatre chains) competed with exclusive prints for Transformers: Age of Extinction, Terminator: Genisys and Ant-Man. The former company had Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Sadly, collectors living out of the States are out of luck; in Canada, Cineplex Entertainment has not offered many promotional items after The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which had many theatre chains participating.
If a location is not listed on IMAX’s blog announcing these exclusives, that theatre is almost not worth going to. For this Marvel Entertainment film, the fan’s choice for the winning design was distributed throughout North America and the red Ultron variant managed to trickle into some theatres in the States. At least three of the four designs saw distribution at some level. Either it’s time for die-hard collectors to make frequent trips to this country’s screenings or IMAX should take a serious look to even the playing field by using the same distribution method back when Interstellar was screening.
The assumption in how this promotion works may well lay in which theatre chain is willing to invest into the printing costs. When considering the posters have the company’s logo printed on it, the connection is obvious. When AMC is the second largest operation lagging behind Regal, to see them invest into luring moviegoers to their operation makes sense.
When considering the next poster is headed to AMC Theaters again, The Force [is] Awaken[ing] is for those people planning on attending this film on the first four Sundays of this film’s release. This company is getting noticed for creating loyalty to this brand. Sadly, reproductions of licensed art started appearing online (screen cap here) and as for how fast Disney will want these removed from market will depend on word of mouth. eBay is going to be flooded with similar products when the movie releases December 18th.