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Fan Specialities

Caroline Gee

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NO CELL PHONES.

NO TAKING PICTURES OF FOOD.

NO HEADPHONES.

       The signs were plastered in 200 coffees shops across the country. While customers would usually be offended by these unconventional rules, crowds were gathering to view the spectacle.

       On Oct. 5, from 7 a.m. to noon, Netflix celebrated its upcoming revival of the TV show “Gilmore Girls,” with a coffee-shop takeover; a total of 200 coffee shop were transformed into replicas of the iconic diner, “Luke’s,” where many of the events in the show take place. 

       The first 250 fans at each location received free coffee, but all attendees were able to attain a themed coffee cup that included a Snapchat code. Workers at every “diner” dressed up to match the occasion, donning blue “Luke’s” aprons and hats. Fans took selfies with cardboard cutouts of the character Luke and soaked in the bustling atmosphere amid replicas of quirky props from the show.

       Fortunately, Netflix is not the only company to surprise dedicated fans with free celebratory events. On Oct. 13, Warner Bros held a global fan event in London to generate buzz for its upcoming movie, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” Titled “A Return To J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World,” the event took place in London but was also live streamed at dozens of theaters across the world and even on Facebook. Fans were treated to a sneak peek preview of the film and Q&A session with the leading stars and director of the movie.

       Leading actors Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol and Director David Yates were present in person at London to interact with the fans. Actors Colin Farrell and Jon Voight also answered questions at a theater in Los Angeles, where Netflix streamed the event. To cap off the night, attendees received special “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” t-shirts and collectible mini-posters. 

       Smaller-scale events still manage to heighten anticipation among fans. On Oct. 10, Marvel and Disney presented a free screening of Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” at IMAX theaters across North America. Fans who attended the event, titled “Expand Your Mind: An IMAX 3D Exclusive First Look,” also took home a collectible “Doctor Strange” movie poster. The screening was only a fifteen-minute preview — but fans were still raving about the film’s success on Twitter and Facebook immediately after. 

       Today, movie companies are almost expected to host exclusive screenings for upcoming films. Free screenings and events are effective ways to generate hype among fans, especially when the movie or tv show has not been prevalent for some time. Although they can be costly for movie and TV show companies to host, these celebrations and sneak previews are essential towards recognizing the fans’ voices. After all, the cinematic industry requires the interaction of both sides of the screen  — between the audience and filmmakers  — to succeed.

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