Last month, cinema ad network National Cinemedia launched an augmented reality game for moviegoers. The Halloween themed game is part of a series of theatre-based AR experiences which began about six months ago.
On Friday, the company released what it says is the first of its kind movie theatre AR game for the new movie release – Ralph Breaks the Internet.
Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet is a sequel to its 2012 Wreck-It Ralph. It is set to roll out to US theatres on November 21st.
The way it works is, moviegoers watch the pre-show presentations from Cinemedia, which include short films and commercials. These are followed by an on-screen invitation to participate in an AR game experience. Then, a static screen shows Wreck-It Ralph, a character in the movie, standing at a counter in the Pancake Milkshake Café.
Those who have downloaded National Cinemedia’s free Noovie Arcade app, which is available for both iOS and Android, open the app and point their smartphone at the image on the movie screen. A hidden visual trigger in the image starts the AR game, which involves tapping virtual buttons on the phone’s screen to feed pancakes to the Bunny and milkshakes to the Kitty, as fast as possible.
The image on the movie theater’s screen provides the visual backdrop for the app’s in-phone gameplay. While players score points, they won’t see others’ points in this game. However, a shared scoreboard is in the works for future Noovie Arcade movie theatre games according to Digital Ad Sales Vice President, Jerry Canning. At the end of the game, there is a Ralph Breaks the Internet logo, release date, and a reminder on the movie screen to turn off phones during the movie. This game will be available till December 6 in the 1700 theatres where National Cinemedia presents its pre-show, representing more than 21,100 screens.
This marks a new format of movie marketing that employs AR to get viewers engaging with the characters.