• Despite large advertising budgets, word of mouth remains the best form of movie marketing. So before movies are officially released on their official release date, studios and/or distributors will use a "sneak preview" as a marketing tool to generate buzz about a film, knowing that viewers will generally speak better about a film if they've been invited to something special. If the studio thinks it ha an expensive dog on their hands, instead of a sneak preview, it will bombard viewers with an adverstising campaign and hope for a heavy opening weekend. Sneak previews can also be used to generate press coverage locally.
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  • A film screening is the displaying of a film, as part of its production and release cycle, the term applying to a showing under special circumstances: either the environment or purpose will be different than that experienced by a mass market moviegoer. To show the film to best advantage, screenings can occur in plush, low seat-count theaters with very high quality (sometimes especially certified) projection and sound equipment, and can be accompanied by food and drink and spoken remarks by producers, writers, or actors. Screenings typically occur outside normal theatrical showing hours. In conclusion: A sneak preview is a film screening in advance of the broad release of a movie. The screening resembles that of a regular film, complete with the same admission charge. The apparent purpose of sneak previews is to gain additional buzz for the movie in question.

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