Neal Preston
Lanford Beard
November 16, 2011 AT 11:38 PM EST

Writer-director Cameron Crowe’s latest film, We Bought a Zoo, has been given an early preview over Thanksgiving weekend, EW has confirmed. The film, starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson, will preview in more than 800 theaters on Nov. 26. The sneak peek is part of a social media campaign that will allow viewers to post their review online in a contest to win a trip to the San Diego Zoo, and will also include a live chat with Cameron Crowe following screenings. It’s an unheard-of display of confidence for 20th Century Fox execs, who believe the Oscar hopeful is strong enough to generate strong word-of-mouth buzz in advance of its Dec. 23 national release date. Said Crowe, “Holding previews so far ahead of our opening is a bold move — but that’s one of the many reasons I like it.”

Read more:

EW Preview: We Bought a Zoo

‘We Bought A Zoo’ international trailer: Now with more hitting on Scarlett Johansson!

‘We Bought a Zoo’ trailer: Why does Matt Damon need a zoo? He just does, okay?

Cameron Crowe goes animal wild with ‘We Bought A Zoo’

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