Moviegoers wanting to take their theater experience beyond merely suspending disbelief are getting their wish this spring. National CineMedia (NCM) has announced two new augmented reality (AR) initiatives will be arriving in theaters throughout the U.S. just in time for the summer blockbuster season.
NCM is partnering with Moviebill to provide exclusive AR-driven “connected print” content to Regal Entertainment Group theaters. With Moviebill AR, opening-weekend audiences for the biggest films will be able to read and engage with exclusive augmented reality content, special features, and bonus materials from major studios/brands (can you imagine having access to this kind of content when Black Panther hit theaters??)
With the help of Noovie ARcade Games, NCM is also bringing augmented reality gaming to 1,700 top theaters and 49 local/regional theaters across America. Initially, three AR games will be available to moviegoers:
- Cinevaders – Aliens pour through a galactic wormhole and players use powerful lasers to protect the theater (and maybe the world since if these things get out…well, have you seen or heard War of the Worlds?)
- Emoji Escape – Look out! The emojis on your phone are escaping and wreaking havoc in the theater lobby! Catch them before the movie starts (because, let’s face it, silencing your phone won’t trap them inside and nobody turns their phone off…ever).
- Munchie Mania – This one is for everyone who has ever thrown popcorn at to get someone’s attention in a theater. You guessed it: players toss flying popcorn kernels to fill up their popcorn bucket (without wasting any of that wonderfully greasy edible stuff we all overpay for). As an added bonus, this game can be played at home as well as in theaters.
To play, you’ll need to arrive early to catch the Noovie pre-show. You’ll also have to download the Noovie ARcade app to your phone (or presumably other iOS or Android device) before arriving at the theater. The pre-show will alert players when the game is about to start. Players can unlock the larger than life AR experience by aiming their cell phones at the big screen or other triggers in the theater lobby and compete with friends and fans from across the country!
“Noovie ARcade interactive gameplay is the only immersive experience that ties the ubiquity of the smartphone to the magnitude of the movie scree and shifts the Noovie experience from passive viewing to active gaming and play,” notes Lawrence Snapp, NCM’s Chief Digital Officer and SVP, Corporate Development. “It aslo dovetails perfectly with out audience of yourn Millennial movie influencers in search of what’s next in entertainment. Going to the movies provides a social and personal experience that they crave.”