Blockchain, cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have all been hot topics in recent years and not just in the finance sector.
NFTs are also being utilised as a new kind of officially licensed product to engage and benefit fan bases, comparable to official merchandise and other more traditional product lines that we’re all familiar with. As a result, it’s very conceivable that many movies may issue NFTs in the future as part of their marketing and to reward their loyal fans.
It’s expected that NFTs will open up a new market for the movie industry, ushering in innovative methods of distribution and content consumption.
The Movie industry joins the NFT movement
It was first noted in March, when Legendary Entertainment released two new special NFT collections in collaboration with Boss Logic and Terra Virtua Ltd. Their goal was to sell Godzilla vs. Kong-themed NFTs. They provided limited-edition, collectible NFTs of the two monsters fighting. As an income stream, it felt revolutionary, but it was only getting started.
Enderby Entertainment, a global production firm, collaborated with CurrencyWorks in June to develop VUELE, the first full-length feature film NFT viewing and distribution platform. Zero Contact, a science-fiction film starring Anthony Hopkins, is the first NFT auctioned off by Vuele.
During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the movie Zero Contact was produced in 17 different countries (all digitally) and follows five persons from all over the world who are only linked by their loyalty to the late creator and tech giant Finley Hart, played by Hopkins.
The animated series “Stoner Cats” raised $8.4 million through an NFT sale at the end of July, selling out in only 35 minutes. These NFT allowed their holders the exclusive right to view certain episodes.
Fox Entertainment has announced a $100 million creation fund for the NFT industry, they’re doing it through Blockchain Creative Labs, with the purpose of operating a digital marketplace. Customers will be able to buy characters, background art, and GIFs associated with the series and other projects that join the platform.
An NFT collection was launched in collaboration with IV gallery, Lineage Studios, and MakersPlace as part of the promotional campaign for the Dune movie. The first set of the collection was released on September 22nd, with subsequent releases following, with the film premiering in American theaters on October 22nd.
How Can NFTs Work With The Movie Industry?
With the use of NFTs in marketing, sales, fund raising and distribution there are still numerous untapped opportunities.
For an upcoming movie like Dune, for example, owning an NFT from the official collection may entitle you to a movie theater discount, there could be ticket NFTs for the first 500 people to watch the film, or some of the NFTs could be randomly broadcast at the end of the film.
Owning an NFT could also grant you access to a platform with exclusive content and discussion forums for the film. These and other examples demonstrate the potential for NFTs to be used to generate a fan base around a product or intellectual property material.
Funding is another aspect for the use of NFTs that the movie industry may gain from. Recently, Rarible hosted an NFT sale by award-winning director Michael Beets to generate funding for the world’s first documentary filmed by refugees from all around the world.
NFTs will provide a fresh source of merchandise for the industry while also helping to mold it in new directions. The advent of NFTs will enable smaller indie production films to get funding, as well as potentially allowing people to vote on narrative developments via NFTs.
Fans will be encouraged to do more than just watch their favorite show on a streaming service thanks to digital collectibles. Instead, they will invest in digital collectibles and continue to support the sector.
Conclusion: New Tokens, New Movies
NFTs will become an evolutionary new way to distribute and enjoy films, for example, rather than relying on a traditional distributor or streaming provider, studios or distributors will be able to reach out directly to fans through digital collectibles.
Those initial initiatives are paving the way for subsequent films to follow in order to increase fan engagement and generate new revenues. The next names looking to launch NFTs are expected to be John Wick, The Hunger Games, and Mad Men.
Overall, it’s evident that NFTs have enormous promise, not just in the realm of fine art, but also in the sector of media and movies. These early tests of the technology will reveal how effectively NFTs fit into the overall industry.
[updated the 11/9/2021 by Besancia]