Most big-studio films have promotional screenings in all the major U.S. markets a few days before they open, with free passes handed out by local radio stations and a couple rows of seats taped off for the movie critics. At many of these screenings, there are "prizes" to be given away, by which I mean worthless crap like posters or cheap T-shirts with the film's logo. It doesn't matter how little value a thing has, though. If it's being given away for free, the people who attend these screenings regularly WANT IT. They will squabble with their fellow prize pigs to get it, and become sullen if they come away empty-handed.

"We don't just want a free movie!" they seem to say. "We want free merchandise to go with it! What a gyp! Also, we want to sit in the press row, even though there are plenty of other open seats and the press row has been clearly labeled and we know we are not press! WE ARE ENTITLED TO EVERYTHING!!"

Ahem. But sometimes, they have enough free crap for everyone to get some. This was the case at last night's Fast & Furious screening here in Portland (and presumably in some of the other markets, too), but the specific promotional items they chose are a little baffling. First, there were little boxes of Red Hots -- you know, the hard cinnamon candy? -- in special Fast & Furious packaging. Second, there were flying disks (not Frisbees, because that's a trademark for a specific manufacturer of flying disks) with the logo, tagline, and website.
categories Movies, Cinematical