Amazon Prime membership comes with its share of perks. I’m sure you know all about the free two-day shipping and streaming video access by now, to say nothing of the perpetually disappointing Prime Day. But what you might not have known is that every so often, you also get the opportunity to see early screenings of new movies. It’s something they’ve begun doing over the past year or so, with early screenings of ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ last December and ‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation‘ this summer. And now they’re getting ready to do it again with what is quite possibly the highest-profile release to participate thus far: ‘Aquaman’.
The advance screenings of ‘Aquaman’ are exclusive to Amazon Prime members and will take place at 7pm on December 15th, nearly a week ahead of the film’s planned release date of December 21st (though there will as usual be preview screenings on the evening of December 20th). The screenings will take place at all major theater chains, including AMC, Regal, Cinepolis, ArcLight, Bow Tie, Showcase, Studio Movie Grill, Santikos, and Megaplex. Tickets are not yet available but are expected to go on sale soon. And be sure to act quick, as past screenings have sold out! Speaking of prior Amazon advance screenings, if those are anything to go by, then when tickets go on sale, they will likely be available through an Atom Tickets link at which fans will be able book up to ten seats by signing into their Amazon Prime account.
So why ‘Aquaman’? After all, that’s a pretty big fish for Amazon to have landed (pun very much intended). Well, this is purely speculative, but beyond the simple fact of studios experimenting with new distribution models, one big reason to partner with Amazon (or Fathom Events, etc.) for these sorts of advance screenings is to generate buzz around mid-tier films. Just look at the other releases Amazon has partnered with. In particular, ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ stands out as a film that could’ve used some help with its early hype. Now make no mistake, ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ was better than a twenty-years-later sequel to a movie based on a board game has any right to be, and it went on to do perfectly fine at the box office. But be honest. What did you expect when you first heard about it? Were you lined up on opening night or sold by word of mouth?
Likewise, while I’m sure Warner doesn’t see ‘Aquaman’ as mid-tier per se, they know as well as we do that their DC films need all the help they can get. After all, ‘Wonder Woman’ remains the only bona fide hit of the bunch, and while the trailers are nothing if not promising, ‘Aquaman’ is nonetheless tasked with spinning off a hero who was introduced in a team-up film that audiences greeted with a shrug. With that being the case, it makes perfect sense for Warner to take advantage of whatever hype they can generate.
The next installment in the DC Extended Universe, ‘Aquaman’ has been helmed by director James Wan and stars Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Temuera Morrison, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Patrick Wilson, and Nicole Kidman. The film is scheduled to arrive in theaters on December 21, 2018.