Moviegoers can use Bitcoin—a type of digital currency—as payment to score tickets to Dope, a coming of age comedy about a geeky high school senior named Malcom (Shameik Moore), who uses the cryptocurrency to sell drugs anonymously.
Movie distributor Open Road Films has teamed up with MovieTickets.com and GoCoin to include Bitcoin as an option for payment at more than 900 theaters when Dope opens June 19. It’s the first film to accept the controversial digital currency for ticket purchases, a move that studio execs call “cutting edge.”
“Dope is fresh, innovative and cutting edge. This partnership reflects all of those qualities of the movie,” Open Road Film’s Chief Marketing Officer Jason Cassidy said in a press release. “Bitcoin is an integral part of Dope and we could not be more excited to bring this unique new opportunity to moviegoers.”
“As a Los Angeles based company, GoCoin is targeting the entertainment verticals with specific payment solutions that remove friction for both the merchant and consumer,” added GoCoin’s Founder & CEO, Steve Beauregard in a statement. “Our goal is to create a one-stop payments and loyalty solution for merchants to streamline checkout and expand sales while protecting the consumer’s privacy.”
Directed by Rick Famuyiwa, the film stars Moore as a ‘90s hip-hop obsessed geek who struggles to fit in at his Los Angeles high school. (Especially because he dreams of attending Harvard.) But high school politics take second place in the film when Malcolm finds himself in possession of drugs, which he has to sell off in order to help a local dealer. Using his tech-savvy skills, Malcolm partners with BFFs Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) and Jib (Tony Revolori) to create an elaborate network with which to sell the drugs online.
While movie marketing campaigns have become pretty elaborate in recent years—think Twentieth Century Fox’s revamp of 7-11 stores as Kwik-E-Marts for 2007’s The Simpsons Movie or Lionsgate’s 2013 launch of an online fashion mag titled Capitol Couture to capitalize on Panem’s love of fashion in the Hunger Games franchise—using Bitcoin as a tie-in for the upcoming film is definitely kind of dope.
Check out the trailer for Dope, which opens nationwide on June 19.