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Talk of the day: Here's a film promotion that just may work

By Times staff, wires
Published March 15, 2007


Here's a film promotion that just may work

Universal Pictures has come up with an unusual plan to try to fill theaters when its film Peaceful Warrior opens later this month: The company is giving away $15-million worth of free tickets. Through a partnership with Best Buy, the film company will give interested moviegoers as many as 10 free tickets to see Peaceful Warrior during its opening weekend, March 30 to April 1, Universal's president of marketing, Adam Fogelson, said Tuesday. The inspirational film, based on Dan Millman's best-selling novel, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, doesn't lend itself to traditional promotional techniques, Fogelson said. The hope is that viewers' "word of mouth and enthusiasm might sustain interest" in the film, he said. Tickets will be available online beginning Sunday, with the giveaway ending April 1.

Xbox online format extended to PCs

Microsoft announced Tuesday it was extending the online gaming service for its Xbox consoles to the millions of people who use Windows PCs to play games over the Internet, a move that could bolster the popularity - and profits - of video gaming. Xbox Live, Microsoft's online-gaming network serving about 6-million Xbox users, is set to open its basic and premium features to online PC gamers May 8 under the rubric of Games for Windows - Live, Microsoft executives said. The service coincides with the release of a Windows Vista version of Microsoft's best-selling combat game, Halo 2. While much of the $10-billion video game industry has focused on game consoles like Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii, most games are still played on personal computers, which are more numerous than dedicated game machines.

Chrysler plays part in a car for China

Chrysler Group and Chinese automaker Chery Automobile plan to present their first joint model, the subcompact Chery A1 at the Shanghai Auto Show next month, Chery said Wednesday. The A1, an upgraded version of Chery's popular QQ, will be among at least six small vehicles that Chery and Chrysler reportedly plan to produce together, reportedly for export. But Chery spokesman Wang Wei said the A1 was intended for sale in Chinese market. The A1 is expected to sell for 40,000 yuan to 65,000 yuan, or between $5,200 and $8,400, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Feds will pay for digital TV switch

The U.S. government will offer households as much as $80 each to convert televisions to receive digital broadcasts under a $1.5-billion program. Households with one or more TV sets can ask for as many as two $40 coupons as long as the first $990-million lasts, under U.S. Commerce Department rules published Tuesday. An extra $510-million in coupons may be offered just to households without pay-TV service, if the initial amount is insufficient.

Times wires

[Last modified March 14, 2007, 23:09:14]

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