Movie fans who attended the opening weekend of Paramount Pictures newest film, Bumblebee, got a real cinematic treat that had to do with Augmented Reality. Fans of the Transformers franchise who attended RealD 3D showings of the film at Regal Cinemas received a first-ever Moviebill Flip poster that was scanned using mobile phones for AR treats.

Regal AR App and Moviebill Magazine

Regal Cinemas, the movie theater franchise, and Moviebill, the first interactive movie magazine, joined together to promote the film Bumblebee. How did they do it? Using AR technology! To celebrate the first Transformers spinoff and prequel (the film takes place in 1987), the movie theater and new interactive publication utilized AR technology to entertain moviegoers.

Guests of Regal received a paper copy of Moviebill and a poster of Bumblebee that was scannable using the Regal mobile app and its AR surface reading technology. Pushing the boundaries of entertainment, Regal and Moviebill brought the Transformer to life by using eye movement as a character feature.

Before the movie begins and also after it ends, theater guests will be “able to use [the] Moviebill scanner in the Regal app to see exclusive interviews with the “Bumblebee” cast and more Augmented Reality (AR) surprises!” delights Moviebill in a statement.

“In our continuing quest to bring innovation to our fans, augmented reality experiences are a key component. We are excited to bring Bumblebee to life with groundbreaking technology incorporated into the movie poster and the Moviebill,” said Ken Thewes, Chief Marketing Officer at Regal.

AR and Film, Like Bumblebees to Honey

AR-enabled mobile phones and film go together like bumblebees to honey (buzzy pun fully intended). Every moviegoer is a fan or potential future fan of a film.

To keep marketing and advertising for films exciting and in touch with today’s tech-inspired movie fans, the two companies leveraged the ever-present reality of mobile phones. Where we go, they go. They took note.

AR experiences like the one with Bumblebee are a portion of a surfacing trend in the film industry. Film and AR are now co-existing and extending their reach to more movies and their studios.

Film-based companies like Noovie ARCade App brought Ralph Breaks the Internet’s Pancake Milkshake Café game to the public this past Fall.

Moviebill and Regal’s partnership isn’t just a hot trend with interactive games and movie posters, they make us want to see, play, and experience more of what AR can do!

With reports of print media being overtaken by digital media, I’d gather to say that digital technology is now helping one category of print media to reimagine its inner workings and reinstate its relevance in our daily lives with Regal’s AR app and Moviebill.

The film industry saw attendance drop low in 2017, which was attributed to in-home streaming services. Yet there was a noticeable swell of movie attendees in 2018. Could AR and its presence in movie theaters be helping fill seats at the theater?

We’d like to think that AR technology plays a significant part in the effort to keep the entertainment and film industries thriving. Every extra bit of demonstrated technology or film-specific feature that moviegoers are given makes them happier to come back even after the film has ended.