In today’s streaming era, when Netflix and similar services offer consumers unprecedented at-home convenience, theaters must do more to draw people in. It’s no longer just about the movie.
Regal Cinemas has combined the bar and cinema into one enhanced experience. Guests can order beverage alcohol at 251 of the brand’s 564 theaters, while 75 locations offer a Cinebarre with a full range of cocktails, including the popular Jartails line of mixed drinks served in mason jars.
The overall beverage alcohol program, which won a 2020 BevX Award for Best Single-concept Entertainment, focuses on popular wine and beer brands with a national presence and cocktails themed around strong title releases.
Regal on average executes 10 one-month offers tied to a specific movie, often with the cooperation of the studios. For example, Fearful Flavors, Regal’s most successful LTO of 2019, featured trend-forward beverages incorporating unique flavors and a merchandising opportunity fitting the horror movie It Chapter Two.
Based on Stephen King’s best-selling book, the movie focuses on the evil clown Pennywise, so Regal worked with Warner Bros. and Beeline Creatives to design a ceramic Geeki Tikis mug that features Pennywise’s face. Guests could upgrade their cocktails with a Geeki Tikis mug for $10 more, or purchase just the mug in a special promotion box for $15.
The specialty cocktails included the Malicious Martini (Ole Smoky Blackberry Moonshine, DeKuyper black cherry brandy and fresh lime juice) and the Taste of Fear Winetail (Rodney Strong cabernet sauvignon, Captain Morgan spiced rum, Monin Raspberry, lemon juice and club soda); and Pennywise Punch (Captain Morgan, Bacardi Superior rum and Malibu coconut rum, orange, pineapple and grenadine). The Punch outsold the others three to one. Beginning in early September—traditionally a slower time for movies—the LTO shattered previous fall beverage promotion records by more than 300%.
Regal’s overall program rings up more than $50 million in adult beverage sales alone, while the bar footprint grows by a minimum of 20% a year. LTOs typically sell 10,000-plus of the featured cocktails in just three to four weeks, and move upwards of 5,000 Geeki Tikis glasses with each promotion.