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Variety reports this morning that "Walmart is about to give Superman an early boost at the box office, with the company becoming the first retailer to sell tickets to an advance screening of a studio film. It’s a deal that, if it takes off with consumers, could quickly become a new source of revenue for Hollywood’s majors while altering the way moviegoers are lured into the megaplex."

According to the story, Walmart "will offer nearly 1 million tickets to Warner Bros.’ 'Man of Steel' at 3,700 stores nationwide beginning May 18, at 8 a.m., for screenings scheduled June 13. Film officially bows Stateside on June 14. Advance tickets won’t become available to more traditional outlets until May 21 or 22, giving Walmart at three- to four-day advance on sales ... To sweeten the deal, the ticket price will include a free code to pre-order a Blu-ray combo pack or HD digital download of 'Man of Steel,' which will contain exclusive film content."

According to the story, the deal is seen as having the potential to build both early box office numbers for "Man of Steel," as well as for its eventual home video release. That's no small matter for Warner Bros., which is desperate to revitalize the Superman franchise and keep up with Marvel, which has been extremely successful with Iron-Man, Spider-Man, Captain America, and other franchise characters.

"And for Walmart," Variety writes, "the company is betting big on 'Man of Steel' as a title it hopes will lure consumers into its stores. In addition to selling tickets to early screenings, it will also start offering 'Man of Steel' merchandise, beginning April 28, that includes T-shirts, electronics, posters and other items on shelves and online at Walmart.com."

The strategy is seen as one that could be used again at Walmart for future films, as well as being employed at other major national retailers.
KC's View:
I think this is a great idea, but I have a rooting interest in "Man of Steel" being a success. My son, David, has a tiny part in the movie ... so I figure we'll be seeing it a bunch of times.