One of the funniest scenes from the teaser trailer for the Wreck-It Ralph sequel is the basis for the new pre-show augmented reality experience via the Noovie ARCade app.
Arriving in theaters on Nov. 21, Ralph Breaks the Internet finds the titular character expanding his digital travels beyond arcade games and onto the world wide web. Eventually, he finds his way into a children's mobile game called Pancake Milkshake Café, where hilarity ensues.
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If you're like me, you don't always get to the theater early enough for the pre-show reels. Luckily, marker-based AR experiences can often be activated with a screen grab, so you can also scan the image below with the ARCade app to access the game.
National Cinemedia (NCM) launched Noovie ARCade in Feb. 2018 with three pre-show games. The experience is available 20 minutes before showtime on 21,100 movie screens in more than 1,700 top theaters nationwide, including AMC, Cinemark, Regal Entertainment Group, and 50 other regional and local exhibitors.
Last month, the app enabled a Halloween-themed AR experience (which can be accessed by scanning the video embedded below, and is totally worth it). This month, that experience gives way to the Wreck-It Ralph game, the first film studio collaboration for the app.
"Disney has been our premiere Noovie studio from the beginning, and we're thrilled to work with them to break new ground in augmented reality gaming," said Rick Butler, NCM chief digital officer, in a statement. "The unique environment of the movie theater is perfect for a shared AR experience, and this is just the beginning of the fun new movie-related games that audiences can expect at their local Noovie theater."
The experience aligns with Disney CEO (and top NR30 AR investor) Bob Iger's stated preference for augmented reality, evidenced in a string of AR promotions for Avengers: Infinity War, (including the cover story for the first edition of Regal's AR magazine, Moviebill, which NCM produces) and The Incredibles 2, as well as the Star Wars: The Last Jedi AR game system from Lenovo, and Marvel's AR content collaborations via AR Stickers (now Playground) on the Google Pixel and AR Emojis for Samsung.
Disney Parks have also gotten in on the act through Snapchat with geofenced AR experiences and exclusive Levi's merchandise sold via Shoppable AR. Disney Research also has also uncovered new applications and methods for AR and secured patents for the technology.
"Disney Animation has always embraced new technology to bring our characters to life on the big screen, and we're proud to work with NCM and Noovie ARcade to be the irst studio ever to deliver an in-theater augmented reality gaming experience for movie audiences," said David Sieden, vice president of cinema partnerships at The Walt Disney Studios.
"Movie theaters are the perfect place for people to come together and enjoy the magic of Disney movies, and augmented reality gives us a way to make that magic jump off the screen and into the hands of audiences through their phones. It's the perfect way to get moviegoers excited about Ralph and Vanellope's crazy new adventure in Ralph Breaks the Internet."
Considering Disney's leadership position when it comes to AR and entertainment, Noovie picked the right partner to demonstrate how its AR games can fit in with the studio's existing promotional AR campaigns for films, a dynamic that may last long into the future.