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Tugging at New Business

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The balance of power is shifting, and consumers have the upper hand.

The latest example is a new online service called Tugg, a grassroots movie distribution business that allows consumers to select the movies they want to see at local theaters. According to the Los Angeles Times, Tugg has partnered with several theater operators, including AMC, Regal, Cinemark and Rave Cinemas, and has hosted more than 50 events nationwide.

Tugg is filling theaters with audiences craving specialty films ranging from the Stanley Kubrick classic “Dr. Strangelove” to the Morgan Spurlock documentary “Comic Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope.”

Events are promoted by an organizer who chooses a film she would like to see in her local community. She selects a local theater, locks in the date and then promotes the event through social media channels. If enough people reserve tickets – a minimum of 50 is required – Tugg books the film.

“As more theaters convert from film to digital, there is growing interest in using services like Tugg to program so-called alternative content and attract new customers to the multiplex at a time when long-term attendance in the U.S. has been on the decline,” according to the newspaper’s report.

If consumers are taking greater control when it comes to movies, what does that mean for retail marketers? Finding ways to give customers a say is more important than ever.

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