question of the day: Would a coupon deal get you to a multiplex to see a movie you wouldn’t otherwise see?

One for the Money, the Katherine Heigl action comedy that was not screened for critics in the U.S. — and garnered appalled reviews from those critics who ventured out to see it over the weekend — debuted above expectations in North American, earning $11.5 million. Is it possible that a discount offer on tickets for this specific movie from the megapopular Groupon had something to do with this?
One for the Money Groupon

I’m not the only one who thinks so. From E! Online:

Tickets for the crime comedy were offered via Groupon for $6 a pop, a 60 percent discount in some cities.

In the end, One for the Money managed a per-screen average that was stronger than all the movies in the Top 10, save Liam Neeson’s chart-topping The Grey.

Lionsgate exec David Spitz rejected the notion that the grosses for his studio’s film were inflated. Only 11 percent of the surveyed opening-weekend audience, many of them infrequent moviegoers, he said, snapped up the Groupon deal.

“These are people who wouldn’t have gone to see the film,” Spitz said today.

I’m a bit confused by part of this: Is it suggesting that the official box office take is inflated because it reflects the assumption that everyone who attended the film paid full price for their ticket?

More intriguing to me is the notion that a coupon would get people who don’t otherwise go to the movies out to see a movie that they would otherwise have had no intention of seeing. I suppose that’s good business on Hollywood’s side, but is it good entertainment on the audience’s side? I wonder how many of those who used a coupon to see a film they were already indifferent about tended to be more disappointed if they didn’t like the film, or more happy if they did…

What about you? Would a coupon deal get you to a multiplex to see a movie you wouldn’t otherwise see? Do you think you’d react differently to the film because you hadn’t really wanted to see it enough to pay full price?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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