Movie screening of a blockbuster movie has been a go to fund raising for schools and organization alike. Initially, we were hesitant to do one as we heard from a previous batch that the profit was not worth the effort. Also, those buying the tickets are your batchmates themselves. Plus, almost everyone are doing it so the competition is high. Given these reasons, we did not consider having one.
However, things changed when I spoke to a Grade 10 parent who did this as their fund raising and gained closed to P100k for a 660 capacity cinema. This made me look into the math more and the marketing we can do to promote the movie.
Steps To Take
1. Call the cinema that you are interested in and inquire about their seating capacity, cost per seat and upcoming blockbuster movies. They will usually email you a list. 3 months into the future is ample time to prepare.
2. Based on your computation and capacity to sell the tickets, reserve the cinema on the chosen date and time.
3. Some cinemas will send you approved images to use for your tickets. Once you have them, you can start printing the movie tickets to sell.
4. Sign the contract based on the number of seats that you reserved. Make sure to read restrictions and limitations for the block screening.
5. You can make a 20% downpayment to lock-in the rate in case there are any increases before the scheduled date.
6. You need to pay in full one week before the scheduled showing if you are paying by check or three days before if you pay in cash.
7. Distribute tickets 2 months before to give enough time for selling.
8. Prepare the 5-minute video before the movie and the tarp layout to be approved by the cinema one week before.
9. On the date itself, expect to sell tickets from last minute moviegoers.
Below are 10 tips that helped us for our block screening:
1. Choose a blockbuster movie that is a movie for the family. If a batchmate with children will watch that is already at least two seats as one will need a guardian.
2. Ask for sponsorship from companies. You can offer the following mileages: free movie tickets, logo on the ticket, logo on tarp, video exposure before the movie, social media exposure, ticket as a discount coupon and product sampling. Get the sponsorship letter sample here.
3. Partner with another Batch or Grade 10 of your school. This will increase the number of seats that you can place in your letter for sponsorship. We had 968 seats in 2 cinemas.
4. If allowed by the cinema, reserve only 80% of the seats and just pay the seat cost that will be above the 80%. You can reason out that the front row is already too close and will not have a good view. Booking at 100% would require you to pay all even if the cinema will not be full.
5. Sell 3-4% more tickets of the cinema capacity. We printed 1000 tickets. Based on our experience, some just bought the ticket to support the cause or some just had last minute change of plans. This is already extra profit for you.
6. Saturday at 6pm worked for us. Most people are already done with work or school.
7. If you will be offering snacks, do not get them from the cinema as this will cut your profit. Negotiate with them if you can provide outside snacks. We did not offer drinks as we need to make extra effort to make them cold.
8. You may offer custom merchandise as giveaways instead of snacks and drinks or mix and match. You may also raffle them out.
9. Instead of doing a raffle based on the ticket number, we put all the items (ballpen, fan, keychain, popcorn) that we will give away on a fish bowl and asked each moviegoer to get one before they go in. This way, it will not be difficult to locate the winner and will be more efficient.
10. Distribute a quota for each batchmate to sell. Make sure that the tickets are good as sold. Expect only about 50% of your batchmates who are willing to sell the tickets.
With the right size theater, company sponsorship and marketing, blockbuster movie screening is a good fund raising activity that will give a bump to your batch fund.