The 1982 film “Tron” was not a major commercial success, but it became a pivot point in Hollywood history as the first feature film to use computer-generated animation in a big way. The movie holds a special (and quirky) spot in pop culture history, and there are passionate fans of its legacy. One of them is Jay West, who has written a series of guest columns on Disney’s elaborate promotions for the sequel, “Tron: Legacy,” which is due out Dec. 17. “Tron Night” is coming, and Jay is on top of it.
The 23rd annual Tokyo International Film Festival was held last weekend — and attendees who won tickets via an online lottery were treated to the world premiere of a 24-minute, 3-D preview of footage from the upcoming “Tron: Legacy” movie, which is set to debut Dec. 17. The film’s Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde and Walt Disney Studios president of production Sean Bailey, also a producer on the movie, attended the festival and walked the eco-friendly green carpet. They were flanked by male and female models donned in full “Tron: Legacy” regalia.
Here’s video footage of Hedlund, Wilde and Bailey arriving at the festival and walking the green carpet.
The same 24 minutes of “Tron: Legacy” footage will be shown for the first time in IMAX 3-D worldwide on Thursday under the banner “Tron Night” (or “Tron Day” in certain locations). Complimentary tickets for this event were quickly snatched up online a couple of weeks ago.
The “Tron Night” event is a direct parallel to last year’s “Avatar Day”– when Fox showed 16 minutes of “Avatar” in IMAX 3-D worldwide months prior to the film’s December release. Although that “Avatar” preview met with mixed reactions at the time, it obviously didn’t deter its box-office success (to put it mildly) as it became the highest grossing movie of all time.
This similar marketing strategy by Disney is definitely aimed at acclimating moviegoers to the world of “Tron” in the hopes of building interest to see the final film. There are also some interesting elements from the continuing “Flynn Lives” ARG (alternate reality game) that are tied into these upcoming “Tron Night” screenings — I’ll be discussing those, along with my coverage of “Tron Night,” in an upcoming article.
– Jay West
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