Thus far, combining the interactivity of social media with the experience of moviegoing has been limited to live-tweeting how much it sucks and choosing Channing Tatum’s projects for him. But Tugg has grand ambitions to change all that: The new service allows users to choose movies from an extensive library of both old and new titles, then book them at their local theaters for screenings that they themselves promote. Currently the website is only in beta testing, but you can already get a pretty good idea of how it will work. It essentially functions like a Kickstarter campaign, with members proposing a screening that only goes ahead when it receives enough online commitments to attend. At that point, Tugg will book the theater, handle ticket sales, and ensure delivery of the film, while the "promoter" gets to sit back, relax, and act all smug.
Tugg has already announced partnerships with theaters such as AMC, Cinemark, Rave, Regal, and more localized exhibitors such as the Alamo Drafthouse, and it will officially announce its distributor partnerships—i.e., exactly whose movies you can expect to see in its library—before its official launch at March’s SXSW Festival. But today it’s already confirmed that the first two titles that Tugg users will be able to book, Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life and Best Foreign Language Film nominee Bullhead, confirming that Tugg could prove most useful to those who live in towns where those sorts of films never get picked up by their local theaters. In short, pretty soon you’ll be able to bring a little culture to your respective backwater burg, and you’ll have one less thing to complain about.
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