Seeking to build revenues and build consumer engagement through new channels, The New York Times has launched a new club for movie buffs. For $100 per year, The New York Times Film Club offers members tickets to two "red carpet" screenings of digitally restored classic films, followed by conversations with Times journalists, film talent and experts, as well as six new movie previews in New York and Los Angeles.
The first remastered film will be the 1972 Paramount Pictures classic "The Godfather," screened at The TimesCenter in New York on January 5, 2011. For the previews, members may select from dozens of upcoming releases.
The NYT Film Club fee comes to $12.50 per screening -- the same as an average move ticket in New York City. (The national average is about $7.50, according to the National Association of Theater Owners.) Members can add another person to their membership for $75, which brings the average price per screening down to $10.95.
The club will also create plenty of advertising opportunities. Denise Warren, senior vice president and chief advertising officer for The New York Times Media Group and general manager of NYTimes.com, stated: "The New York Times Film Club provides advertisers with an attractive audience of smart, affluent and passionate consumers. We are working closely with Premiere Previews to offer year-round branding opportunities for sponsors, including at red-carpet events, in New York Times print ads and online at NYTimes.com."
At launch, the Film Club is supported by sponsors including Intel, Marc Jacobs, Nespresso and Tourneau/TAG Heuer.
The Film Club is merely the latest in a series of club-based marketing and engagement initiatives from the NYT and other big newspapers. In 2009, The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal launched their own wine clubs in partnership with Global Wines Company, Wines Direct, and Laithwaite's Wine Merchants, respectively.
The New York Times also hosts an annual Travel Show, divided into a general-interest travel expo for consumers, and a smaller trade-focused conference for travel agents.
In January of this year, the WSJ launched its own boutique travel agency, WSJTravel, offering destinations, itineraries and customized travel packages based on the newspaper's travel-related content.