An incentive for cine-marketers: Win a trip to the real Grand Budapest Hotel!

Cinemas Features

There’s no April Foolin’ anybody... Submission to FJI’s monthly celebration of all things “Cinemarketing” continue to be as rare as a second-weekend boost at the box office—even as we strive to highlight the best of the best, as archived here. We know that studio and in-theatre teams are as busy building social-media campaigns as they are putting together displays and otherwise promoting movies at their theatres. So why not “share” with everyone? (Just think of FJI as you would Facebook.) Feel free to submit a favorite photo and brief description to this author in care of Film Journal International will continue to highlight your activities, special events and decorations, as well as contests, giveaways, charity/community outreach, premieres, theatre openings and the like.

Since it helps with getting “likes” on Facebook, maybe a little incentive is in order on these pages as well. Hence our headline! On April 1, 2015, all photos and activities submitted for this column qualify for a visit to Corinthia Hotel Budapest. As the luxury hotel prepared a new package “to celebrate the Oscar success of The Grand Budapest Hotel and cinematic past and present of Hungary’s capital,” Corinthia Hotels wondered whether Wes Anderson got “his inspiration for this enchanting hotel when he stayed at and did a back-of-house tour” in 2012.

Originally opened in 1896 as the Grand Hotel Royal, Corinthia Budapest shares several similarities with the movie’s fictional hotel, including the remarkable façade. It was one of the first European hotels to feature en-suite bathrooms and electricity-operated lifts. But it is also part of film exhibition history. The Lumière brothers held their first cinematographic screening outside of Paris in Continental Europe at the hotel in May 1896. In 1915, the Hotel’s Royal Ballroom was transformed into the Royal Apollo Cinema seating over 1,000 guests and renamed the Red Star Movie during the city’s Communist era. In 2003, Corinthia Hotel Group “painstakingly and elegantly” restored the original Grand Hotel Royal to its former glory.

The winning “Grand Budapest Hotel” Package includes limousine transfer from and to the airport for two guests, a movie-focused guided tour and two nights of luxury accommodations. At least one of them will be what management calls “the perfect movie night” of watching The Grand Budapest Hotel in your room “with the perfect amenities to hand, including sparkling wine and sweets.” All this can be yours for €409 ($443) at Happy April Fools’ Day! (And yes, despite our prank, we still would love to feature your in-theatre marketing submissions.)

Speaking of incentives, they don’t get more real than two tickets for the price of one. And that’s no joke, April Fools’ or otherwise, but a great promotional idea.

As every exhibitor knows, it takes a lot for their partners in distribution to give away a ticket. (Sometimes you can pay people and they still won’t go and see the movie. But that’s a different story altogether.) So when Regal Entertainment Group and Relativity Studios joined forces and gave away the second ticket to Black or White with purchase of the first, they truly believed in the power of this drama starring Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer. Regal’s senior VP and head film buyer, Ted Cooper, said his circuit is “proud to offer this amazing opportunity,” while Ken Thewes, chief marketing officer, noted that “Regal wants to encourage even more people to see the dynamic performances in this amazing film.”

Another amazing film (if not more so) is The Imitation Game. Not to be outdone in the free-to-see department, The Weinstein Company partnered with Regal and AMC Theatres to treat high-school students to free showings on March 6. At AMC locations alone, up to 50,000 students, upon presentation of their IDs, could see the film with a special taped introductory message from Oscar-winning screenwriter Graham Moore, who delivered one of the most memorable speeches of the very long Academy Awards night.