On Black Friday, and only that day, YouTube viewers will be able to see “The Lego Movie” in its entirety, free of charge.
The promotion may be just a beautiful holiday gesture from Warner Bros. After all, “The Lego Movie” was a huge hit, reaping $468 million in worldwide box office receipts in 2014. And like all good movies for kids (and adults), it holds up to repeat viewing.
But the free screening also includes a very long commercial for “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” which opens in February. In fact, Warner
Bros. and YouTube are calling it “a full-length movie within an ad.”
The freebie offer is good for only this Friday. After that, the animated film goes back to the its customary $3.99 rental fee via YouTube.
While the free showing is a logical promo, it may also be doing double duty by blunting the force of some competitors.
On Black Friday, movie theaters all over the country will debut Disney’s new “Ralph Breaks The Internet,” a sequel to Disney’s major hit “Wreck-It Ralph,” which raked in $471 million worldwide in 2012.
This sequel is predicted to be as big a smash as the original. Box Office Pro.com says “the brand name and goodwill of the first ‘Ralph’ should help guarantee this will be one of the season’s top hits if reviews/word of mouth turn out strong again.”
It predicts an opening weekend gross of between $45 million to $60 million.
And “Ralph” will already be competing with “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch,” which debuted earlier this month with a fat $66 million three-day total.
So, Warner Bros’ free show via YouTube could rob some of the those audiences and build awareness for its own movie, still three months away.
A free movie, back at home on the day with the whole family on the day after Thanksgiving, could sound like a good alternative to schlepping to the cinema on Black Friday.
It’s also been nearly five years since the original “Lego Movie,” so some might need to learn all about it from the start.
To see "The Lego Movie" for free, fans can enter “Brick Friday” (for Lego’s “Bricksburg” realm) in the YouTube search engine and select the promoted video at the top of the results.