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Regal Entertainment Group elevates moviegoing experience with revamped app

Regal Entertainment Group’s app is available for free download via Google Play. The features were originally launched on the brand’s iPhone version earlier in May.

“Adding an additional screen might actually distract a moviegoer from enjoying their experience,” said Cezar Kolodziej, CEO/president of Iris Mobile, Chicago.

“Mobile should make consumers want to come to the movie theater to watch their favorite films and keep them fully engaged and aware of when movies they would like to see will be available at their favorite movie theater,” he said.

“Taking this one step further and having additional screen competing with the big one might be too much, but time and analytics will tell us if this strategy is successful.”

Mr. Kolodziej is not affiliated with Regal Entertainment Group. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Regal Entertainment Group did not respond to press inquiries.

Regal Entertainment Group claims to operate the biggest theatre circuit in the United States with 7,358 screens in 579 theatres. Regal operates movie theatres in 46 states in the U.S. under brands including Regal Cinemas and United Artist Theatres.

Mobile movies
The Regal Entertainment Group app has been updated to integrate a second-screen experience for its FirstLook program, which displays advertisements before a movie begins.

When consumers are in a theater, they can turn on the FirstLook feature to sync the app with the pre-show content through audio detection.

To use the feature, consumers also have to download a separate app from Google Play called FirstLook Sync.

In exchange for downloading the two apps, consumers can receive offers and games that relate to the FirstLook content broadcasting across the movie theater’s screen.

For example, an offer might give consumers a discount on a popcorn, candy or ice cream snack.

The FirstLook Sync feature also works outside of a movie theater to let users access entertainment news and sweepstakes.

The integration points to the increasing need for marketers to reach groups of consumers across multiple screens simultaneously.

Building loyalty
The app has also been updated to let consumers store their Regal Crown Club loyalty card by taking a picture of the account number on the back.

A QR code is stored with a consumer’s loyalty card number that can be scanned by an employee at the movie theater.

Additionally, users can view how many credits are currently available on their Regal Crown Club cards, update their accounts and store a credit card for faster payment via the app.

The features first rolled out on Regal Entertainment Group’s iPhone app in May.

Regal Entertainment Group initially launched the app last year to let consumers buy movie tickets while on the go (see story).

“The current challenge is mobile app market fragmentation,” Mr. Kolodziej said.

“There is an app for everything, but everything really means one individual thing,” he said. “I am not sure if any mobile user, even the most enthusiastic, would accept having a different app for every loyalty card.

“Having a loyalty card within Regal Cinema’s mobile app might improve the app’s convenience, but I don’t think it will be a crucial feature that would drastically help increase sign-ups for Regal Cinema’s loyalty program.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York