"Transformers" superfans, take note. In advance of the June 27 release of "Transformers: Age of Extinction," the Regal Entertainment theater chain is offering moviegoers premium-priced "Super Tickets" to Paramount's Michael Bay-directed sequel. For an added $15 surcharge, ticket buyers will receive a digital HD download of any one of the first three "Transformers" installments along with a voucher for an early download of "Age of Extinction" prior to its Blu-ray release.
Call it a gimmick if you like, but the promotion represents the latest in a string of similar efforts on the part of studios and exhibitors to woo audiences to the multiplexes with extra bells and whistles. Last year, Paramount's "World War Z" and "Anchorman 2: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" were each given the super-ticket treatment, with the former film's "Mega Ticket," priced at $50, including a two-day-early sneak peek at the film along with collectible 3-D glasses, a digital download, a poster, and popcorn and soda.
Earlier this summer, 20th Century Fox and AMC Theatres capitalized on the anticipation for "The Fault in Our Stars" with a special premium-priced advanced screening that included simulcast interviews with the film's stars and author John Green, as well as a charm bracelet and poster.
Whether the "Transformers" super-ticket promotion, which runs until July 10, will boost the film's grosses in any appreciable way remains to be seen. But with big-budget blockbusters battling it out in a fiercely competitive movie marketplace like so many giant, heavily armed robots, you can fully expect studios and exhibitors to keep trying gambits like this to transform their box-office prospects any way they can.
Twitter: @joshrottenbergCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times