Does Weinstein use free movie tickets to gain SAG votes?

People often wonder how the name Weinstein has become so influential in Hollywood. Well, having been founded in 2005 by the brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein, it turns out the Weinstein Company likes to give potential voters for the SAG-AFTRA awards little perks for watching the company’s films. They give out free tickets.

Weinstein films

Oh yes, thanks to a partnership that was announced today with Fandango, members of the US trades union the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (in 2012 the SAG union united with the AFTRA union to create a mega-union, the SAG-AFTRA) who can vote for the Screen Actors Guild Awards are going to be able to get a free pair of tickets to see the films which are still in theatres and are potential The Weinstein Company (TWC) awards contenders.

How does it work? The SAG Award nominations are to be announced on 11 December, after which over 100,000 eligible SAG-AFTRA members will be able to purchase tickets for the films nominated through a custom Fandango Rewards website.

Historically this type of partnership between the ticket distributor and the studio, is a first, and will no doubt work in the favour of the films backed by the Weinstein Company come awards season. Films fall under the radar if there isn’t any buzz surrounding them. This is important because the SAG awards are traditionally seen as a vital step on the road to the Oscars.

People are far more likely to go and see the likes of Philomena, which stars Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, and The Butler starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, if the distributor is handing over freebies.

The TWC president of marketing Stephen Bruno seems pretty chuffed with the arrangement.

“We’re thrilled to be working alongside Fandango on this unprecedented offer to SAG-AFTRA members,” he said. “This is an incredible opportunity to give them the best possible chance to see our nominated pictures on the big screen, whose individual and ensemble performances we’re so proud of.”

Several other TWC films are also garnering awards buzz. August: Osage County, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and Fruitvale Station are also being talked about.

The SAG Awards are to be held on 18th January 2014.


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