Paramount isn’t worried about the JJ fans and the nostalgia geeks and the sci-fi nerds coming out for Super 8– they’re worried about getting America into seats, especially when they’re marketing a film whose primary draw they can’t actually show. They seem to really think they have something here though, and many critics agree, so they’re not being bashful about showing their film to the aforementioned energetic groups in hope that they’ll play buzz-builders (and maybe even bring groups of friends with them for their second viewing).

It seems the studios have been awfully shameless about selectively screening and un-embargoing certain online critics for geek films this summer, but with Super 8 they’ve shown it far and wide. An early wave of screenings started the reviews a rollin’ at the end of May and now along with your typical promotional screenings there are two coming waves of public sneak previews- the first of which happens tonight. CHUD is a part of tonight’s events and I’ll be out tonight at The Plaza in Atlanta with what I’m sure will be a great crowd. If you didn’t make it into tonight’s screening though, Paramount has another round of showings up their sleeves- a 235-city soft Thursday opening.

Twitter will be the only promotion for the screening, though they made sure to press release the event to sites like us. The Thursday opening will –like the screenings tonight– include a free drink and concession snack, along with the chance to see the film free before its Friday opening.

I’ll be interested to see how these desperate moves work, because I know they’ve all been last minute bookings (which of course could be part of the secrecy campaign, but with the tracking numbers not being so hot…) and it can’t be cheap to rush the prints out there, book the theaters, and provide for all of these free goodies. Ultimately Paramount is hoping to trade a very small fraction of their opening audience for overall big buzz. By appealing to twitter users specifically, they’re targeting the fans already predisposed to be vocal.

This is ultimately a good sign for those on the fence about the film- these are the signs of a studio desperate to make a good film open well. The tactics for opening a piece of shit are much more guarded.

Go here to see if you’re city is part of the sneak.

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HOLLYWOOD, CA (June 8, 2011) – Paramount Pictures and Twitter jointly announced today sneak preview showings of the movie SUPER 8 for 1-day only on Thursday, June 9th, in advance of the film’s scheduled nationwide release on Friday, June 10th. To promote the sneak previews, the companies have designated the hashtag #Super8Secret, which Paramount has also sponsored as a Promoted Trend, allowing Twitter’s global user base a direct link to buy tickets to the advanced previews. At select, participating theatres in the United States, Super 8 Sneak Preview moviegoers will be treated to a free popcorn (with a concession purchase) at each sneak preview show. Hosting movie sneak previews marks a first for Twitter. This promotion continues a key partnership between Paramount and Twitter on SUPER 8. The duo joined forces in March for the movie’s exclusive trailer premiere via Twitter, another exciting first for the site.

SUPER 8, from writer/director J.J. Abrams and producer Steven Spielberg, will open exclusively tomorrow, June 9th, on over 300 screens nationwide, featuring all 239 IMAX playdates in the U.S. and Canada.

Fans can go to and use #Super8Secret to share information about the movie with friends. To be among the first to see SUPER 8, visit for tickets and show times.

“With SUPER 8, J.J. and Steven have created a really fun and engaging movie for all ages,” said Rob Moore, Vice Chairman of Paramount Pictures. “We are excited to finally get it out into the marketplace and using this sneak preview promotion with Twitter to kick start the film’s release, is an unprecedented way to get people into theaters and talking about the movie.”

“Twitter is how we hear about new movies and share our tiny reviews before the credits finish rolling,” said Biz Stone, Twitter cofounder. “There are already millions of people talking about SUPER 8 on Twitter and Paramount gets that. Creating more excitement about the film with sneak previews and free popcorn is a smart way to make this film a global conversation even before it’s released.”

SUPER 8 is an Amblin Entertainment / Bad Robot production, directed by Abrams from his original script and produced by Steven Spielberg, Abrams and Bryan Burk. The film stars Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, Joel Courtney, Gabriel Basso, Noah Emmerich, Ron Eldard, Riley Griffiths, Ryan Lee and Zach Mills. The movie takes place in the summer of 1979, where a group of friends in a small Ohio town witness a catastrophic train crash while making a super 8 movie and soon suspect that it was not an accident. Shortly after, unusual disappearances and inexplicable events begin to take place in town, and the local Deputy tries to uncover the truth – something more terrifying than any of them could have imagined.

Source | Deadline