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What Is Tugg And How Can It Change How You Go To The Movies?

Nordling here.

I was perusing my inbox when I came across an interesting press release, which I'll just cut and paste for you here:

Austin, TX--- Wednesday, February 22, 2012--- Currently in its pilot stage, Tugg, Inc. ("Tugg"), a collective action web-platform that enables individuals to choose the films that play in their local theaters, today announces it's working with exhibitors Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, AMC Theatres, Bow Tie Cinemas, Cinemark Theatres, Goodrich Quality Cinemas, Rave Cinemas and Regal Cinemas. The exhibitors will provide theatrical venues for individually curated events showcasing Tugg's growing library of hundreds of studio and independent films. Tugg's partnerships with distributors will be announced prior to the official launch at South by Southwest in March 2012.
Tugg co-founders Nicolas Gonda, CEO, and Pablo Gonzalez, COO, have created an innovative way for moviegoers to experience the films of their choice in a theatrical setting. Through Tugg, individuals are empowered to select a film, screening time, and nearby theater, and then spread the word to their immediate and online community. Once a necessary amount of people commit to attending, the event will be confirmed, and Tugg will reserve the theater, manage ticketing and ensure delivery of the film; allowing the audience to sit back and enjoy the show.
"Every film speaks to a different person, and the most exciting thing about Tugg is that it allows for audiences to find their films and films to find their audiences. We are eager to offer a platform that enables studios, filmmakers and exhibitors to have unprecedented interaction with communities and influencers," said co-founders Gonda and Gonzalez.
Through the exhibitors, Tugg provides audiences with access to a nationwide network of high-quality theatrical venues. Now an audience can watch a film of their choice, be it current or classic, mainstream or independent, in the multisensory environment only available in a movie theater. Tugg reaffirms the importance and value of the theatergoing experience, and allows exhibitors to court and retain both new audiences and active moviegoers by offering a wider variety of theatrical content.
Tugg's partnerships with distributors and independent filmmakers have helped build an extensive library of content for audiences to choose from. In addition, Tugg's demand-based infrastructure provides an exceptional platform for offering new releases to targeted markets across the country, and creates exciting opportunities for new films to reach theaters and audiences through a local, community-based approach.
"As the film exhibition industry continues to evolve, AMC Theatres remains committed to staying at the forefront of innovation, which is why we've been proud to work with Tugg from the very beginning to determine the feasibility of its platform," said Robert J. Lenihan, president of Programming at AMC Theatres. "As we continue to evaluate the program through trials at our theatres, we've experienced its potential firsthand through successful results by not only putting the choice directly into our guests' hands, but also through the power of grassroots, guest-advocate marketing."
"As the creators were first showing me Tugg, I had the same sensation I had when I first started using Facebook.  This was a brilliant, well-executed concept that could really change things for our business in a significant way," said Alamo Drafthouse CEO/Founder Tim League.
"Rave & Bow Tie Cinemas are excited about the innovative ideas Tugg has brought to our industry," said Spencer Klein, Rave Cinemas & Bow Tie Cinemas Senior Vice President Film & Alternative Content. 
The Tugg team and its advisory board embody a strong collective of industry and media experience in the realms of production, development, marketing and distribution.  Gonda, a producer on The Tree of Life, got his inspiration for Tugg while working all over the world with filmmakers Terrence Malick and Steven Soderbergh.  Gonzalez, an experienced high-tech and marketing executive, leads Tugg's development and operations. In working towards this innovative new initiative, Tugg is privileged to have a board of advisors that includes writer/actor/director Ben Affleck, writer/director Richard Linklater and writer/director Terrence Malick.
Tugg is currently inviting early participants to use the platform during its pilot stage, and will be open to the public in the coming months.  Become an early participant here
To learn more about how Tugg works, visit the "How To" page at

So what does all that mean, if you just skimmed the press release?  Well, I'll tell you.  Tugg, with participating theaters, means that you can basically program your local movie theater for a movie that you want to see on the big screen.  Say, theoretically, you want to see ALIEN (the list of movies available is dependent on what's in the Tugg library) on the big screen at the theater by your house.  You go to the Tugg website, create an event, set the price, theater, and time (depending on the partcipating theater), invite as many of your friends and family through various social media points, and once the minimum number is reached, Tugg books the theater and you have fun at the movies!  Enjoy the chestburster!  

I'm unclear as to how many the minimum would be, but I'd imagine it would have to be a fairly sizeable amount for the theater to close one of their screens for a private event, and you can book it through local media as well.  You can even attend other local Tugg screening events, regardless of whether you booked it or were invited to it.  This could be a boon for local events, and I'd bet websites like AICN as well.  Hell, I'm already thinking of something for my birthday.

It's still in the beginning stages, but for large local groups on, say, Facebook, I'd bet it would be a wonderful way to set up all kinds of movie events.  Now this is what I'm talking about in improving the theatrical experience.  Very cool, indeed, and I hope this pans out.  I'm signing up right now.

Nordling, out.  Follow me on Twitter!


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