Paramount and the Alamo Drafthouse movie theater chain today announced the “Anchorfan Pass,” a $15 ticket that will allow patrons to see “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” an unlimited number of times at any Drafthouse location beginning on January 1.
It’s a nifty promotional idea for a film that is sure to have many repeat viewers given star Will Ferrell’s devout fan-base and the cult-like following of the original. (Though, I must note that I won’t be one of them — while I laughed about a dozen times at Ron Burgundy’s latest exploits, I found the pic’s two-hour runtime to be 40 minutes too long, stretching the thin plot out to a borderline intolerable extent.)
But what’s most intriguing about the Anchorfan Pass is that it begs the question: Could Paramount be testing this model out for future releases on a broader scale? The studio’s Transformers: Age of Extinction is coming out this July, and God only knows how many 14-year-old fanboys will plan on seeing the movie three or four or ten times.
Obviously, the model only works for the studio if pass-buyers don’t end up seeing the movie as many times as they planned (in the case of “Anchorman 2” at $15, that’s about twice). But it could still work out well for exhibitors even if they don’t make any money on the pass. If somebody ends up seeing “Anchorman 2” five times with their Anchorfan Pass, when they would have only gone twice had they needed to pay regular ticket prices, that’s three additional opportunities to purchase concessions (the true goldmine for exhibitors). At this point in the movie’s run—two-and-a-half weeks after its initial release—“Anchorman 2” is not selling out many shows, so Anchorfan Passholders aren’t stealing seats from full-price paying ticket-buyers.
One can imagine this type of pass easily selling for upwards of $20 (even double that in expensive markets like New York and Los Angeles) for popular blockbusters, like those produced by Marvel. One can assume both Paramount and rival studios are evaluating whether this model could work for them across the country in the coming year.
I’m a loyal customer of MoviePass, which allows subscribers to see a movie a day for $30/month and operates independently of the studios and exhibitors. But you’re only able to see each movie one time, which precludes the kind of repeat viewing that so many moviegoers (especially young ones) like to indulge in.
Even if you don’t live in a market where there’s an Alamo Drafthouse, or like me you didn’t enjoy “Anchorman 2” enough to see it multiple times, I’d expect you’ll have your shot to partake in a similar program very soon. Let me know in the comments if you’d be interested in doing so!