Bit brain dead today, but happy — which sounds strange to say in these unsettling times. I’ve been off the news (mostly) and busy implementing and executing. Since launching the new one-click “Theatrical-at-Home” last night, we’ve had sales every hour. This is great news, and thank you to all of you who have participated already! It is amazing to see the support for both us and theaters.
You can go here to sign up to watch this weekend: phoenixoregonmovie.com.
Choose a theater to support and click buy. We will share revenues with our 17 theaters.
Last night, I dreamed of affiliate links, html and domain names. I jolted awake at 4:30am just to check what’s at this link… theatricalathome.com.
I spent most of last night and today (minus 3 hours of sleep) researching and implementing an affiliate program. I chose the LeadDyno app integrated with our Shopify store. It was fairly easy to set up, although I got stuck implementing more complex features. I hired a developer on Fiverr to do some JQuery, Shopify .liquid and geo-fencing (since I sadly had to refund a sale from France.) Our contracts only allow us to sell direct to the U.S. and Canada.
Our theaters have all been provided an affiliate link and a buy button for their websites.
Theaters will collect 50% of the revenue they drive to the site.
Any sales not assigned to a specific theater or specified by a customer will be split between all theaters. So far, many people have chosen “No Preference” which means that all theaters will get a share.
We communicated with theaters today to fully explain the program. This has been the most difficult part. As I stated before — we have a digital product — we will be ok. But these theaters already struggle in a marketplace mostly driven by studio-structured contracts. This is a tremendous blow.
As one of the proprietors put it:
“My hope is that online viewing does not erode one’s desire or need to see movies in a communal dark room amongst friends & strangers. Hoping that tradition will never die but manages to live amongst the new technologies of the day in some kind of mutually cooperative way.”
Truly, these theater owners want to share what is good in the world — and to curate for us stories of love, transformation, hope and connection. They create community. We don’t want to lose that — not now, not ever…
Depending on how the film performs this weekend, we expect to add more theaters next week. I am especially excited to offer this to our theaters from last summer’s tour.
I will share below the letter I wrote to theaters yesterday explaining the campaign. This may be over-sharing, but at this point… we’re all in this together.
Subject: Phoenix, Oregon COVID-19 response
To our Loyal Theaters,
Here is how we will handle the March 20 release of PHOENIX, OREGON for all theaters (open or closed) so we can get ahead of the curve and refocus all efforts on marketing.
1) Some theaters are still open
The DCP will arrive by tomorrow for your March 20 opening.
2) “Theatrical-at-Home” revenue is shared with theaters
As of today, half of our theaters have closed and are not able to sell tickets online. Therefore, from our website, we will sell the “Theatrical-at-Home” one-time viewing option.
- This offer is open to anyone in the U.S. and Canada.
- 50% of revenue (after credit card fees) will be allocated towards theaters. Both open and closed theaters can participate.
- Price is $6.50 marketed as an “average matinee” ticket price. This is less than some theaters, more than others.
- We will attempt to report “box office” to Comscore. This is highly irregular and unprecedented, so we will see how this is received.
3) Affiliate Links
- I will provide an affiliate link to each theater so that sales you promote are tracked.
- For purchases made without an affiliate link, we will give customers an option to choose a theater to support.
- Revenues not assigned to a specific theater will be split equally between all theaters.
- We will add additional theaters in Week 2 and beyond.
4) NOT Day-and-Date
- In light of the news from Universal today, we want to emphasize that this is not day-and-date. We are encouraging our fans to join us in supporting our opening-weekend theaters.
- Our official digital release is still scheduled for June. This offer is only available during the COVID-19 restrictions, and viewers will only be able to access rental (not download) on a private viewing site which will expire.
- This folder includes an example graphic. We can make specific graphics for your theater by request.
- Please post on your website, social media & email newsletters using hashtags #theatricalathome and #phoenixoregonmovie.
6) There will be no in-person appearances by cast or crew
We and our cast no longer feel comfortable (or responsible) in attending events or requesting our fans to congregate with us.
7) Thank you!
Thank you for taking a chance on opening our indie film and for sticking with us. You offer hope and love through your commitment to sharing stories on the big screen.
May that continue for all of us long after this is over!