Would you pay more for a movie ticket if you also received the digital version of the film?

Wide Screen

In the age of streaming and rampant online piracy, cinema owners have desperately been trying to find new and innovative ways to get people to come back to the movie theatre. Canadian theatre chain Cineplex thinks it may have found just such a hook: a new service the company is about to launch called SuperTicket.

As the service’s name might lead you to believe, SuperTicket is more than just a general movie admission. In addition to letting you see a movie on opening night at the cinema, the purchase of a SuperTicket also includes a digital copy of said film that will be available to you before the DVD/Blu-ray release. Many SuperTickets will also include access to special features and behind-the-scenes clips not available to the public.

Cineplex officially launched the SuperTicket service on July 5, with tickets for Warner Bros’ upcoming monsters vs. robots flick “Pacific Rim” offering a bundle that includes a digital copy of the movie and “bonus content” from the film’s director Guillermo del Toro. Several major Hollywood studios (Warner Bros., Paramount, Sony, and Universal) have partnered with Cineplex for the SuperTicket service, and the company expects the other major distributors to follow suit.

The SuperTicket is neat concept, but will it actually encourage more people to go out to the movies?

Probably not. But that’s OK.

Think of it like this: Anyone who is willing to pre-order a digital copy of a movie that they haven’t seen -- four to six months before the home video release date -- is very likely to see that movie in theatres on opening weekend anyway. A person buying a SuperTicket is almost certainly already a regular Cineplex customer, and the service is basically just more of a convenience for those hardcore movie lovers than anything else.

The savings offered by the SuperTicket are also negligible. The cost of a regular admission at Cineplex is currently $11.99, while the cost of an HD digital download on the company’s online store is $24.99. A SuperTicket, which includes both general admission and a download, will run you $34.58. That means if you bought your ticket and your digital movie separately, you’d only be paying $2.41 cents more.

What the SuperTicket ultimately does is allow Cineplex to convert its existing cinema customers into customers of the company’s digital movie download service. The company doesn't really care if the SuperTicket puts more butts in seats, as long as it creates a revenue stream in its burgeoning online store. It will be interesting to see if any U.S. cinema chains follow Cineplex's example.

For the average moviegoer,s the SuperTicket is still a pricey option. If the company cares about creating new customers in both cinemas and the digital space, the SuperTicket price will definitely need to come down a little more.

Would you buy a SuperTicket if you got early access to a digital version of the film and access to special features?