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MySpace and Fox Partner to Launch the 'Black Carpet Screening Series'

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This morning, MySpace and Twentieth Century Fox announced the launch of the Black Carpet Screening Series, which will enable MySpace registered users a chance to see early previews of films before they hit theaters. The move is the biggest studio social networking promotion to date, and also marks MySpace’s first foray into a worldwide exclusive event.

The first advance screening will kickoff on September 20th, which will showcase 'Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,' a full two weeks ahead of the film’s November 3rd premiere. Members in Canada, Germany, the U.K., Ireland and 20 U.S. cities will have a chance to attend local screening events. Users will have to add the Black Carpet profile to their friends list, as well as the film they are interested in seeing, and they will then receive bulletins with details on cities and showtimes.

This looks like an exceptionally smart move by Fox to harness the viral effect of social networks. In effect, it is a brilliant marriage of the proven word of mouth Generating capability of advance screenings to MySpace’s 40 million member social network, and this move will enable the positive word of mouth to spread faster than face-to-face contact. It will be interesting to see which films they choose beyond ‘Borat;’ After all, we have seen how much of a double-edged sword instant word-of-mouth can be.

Nonetheless, this move furthers the synergy between MySpace and News Corp., and looks like a broadening of the studio’s recent efforts to court the youth market with the launch of their Fox Atomic label. It will be interesting to see if further synergies between MySpace and Fox Atomic develop, and also how the other studios will react.


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