If you're as tuned into the Internet as Kevin Flynn might be, you probably heard of the super secret Tron: Legacy viral hunt and IMAX trailer reveal. Those in L.A. were treated to a Q&A with Legacy director Joseph Kosinski and the director of the original Tron, Steve Lisberger. Other cities just got a free t-shirt with their trailer, I believe. Word of mouth was positive, but I'm uncertain what a huge event it was overall. It was awfully quiet.
I confess, I didn't look into it much because these massive marketing events are already beginning to leave a curmudgeonly taste in my mouth. I dug all The Dark Knight viral stuff, mainly because people got really funky bits of swag out of their hunts. (You still see I Believe In Harvey Dent! campaign t-shirts around certain corners of geekdom.) It was also new, fresh, and competitive and it fit with the film in that the Joker was behind the mayhem. Then came Avatar Day which was the first time a studio booked theater time just for a preview, a move which Tron: Legacy copied. Hopefully, it played to bigger audiences than Avatar Day did to justify the IMAX renting cost.
But isn't it all a bit silly? Now, I realize no one is forcing fans to go to these events and if they want to spend their time and money doing it, good for them. But when studios are complaining about not making money on movies, why spend so much money on an event only the hardcore (i.e. those who already know about Tron: Legacy) will attend? It's not grabbing "newbies" to the movie by any means, unless knowledgeable fans are taking friends along.