Hunger Games promo gets virtual boost

Samsung and Lionsgate have paired to offer a new 360 short to promote the latest installment in the franchise, along with the new Gear VR headset.
September 30, 2015

A partnership between Lionsgate and Samsung is offering fans of The Hunger Games a chance to be at the heart of the action through a promotional virtual reality experience.

From Oct. 2 to 4 at more than 1,000 Best Buy locations across the U.S., fans can strap on a Samsung Geat VR headset to preview a short portion of the new immersive Mockingjay app. The full six-minute experience will be on display the following weekend at an event in New York.

The app (which fans will be able to download via the Samsung Milk VR site after its premiere) is designed to take fans through some of the most memorable moments of

the first three films in The Hunger Games film franchise. The fourth installment, Mockingjay: Part 2, premieres Nov. 20. To date, the franchise has grossed more than $2.3 billion at the global box office, and the trio of books that it is based on has sold more than 82 million copies worldwide.

Lionsgate and Samsung previously created promotional content for the last Hunger Games installation, but this marks the first time they’ve added VR into the mix.

Lionsgate is just the latest company to partner with Samsung to offer content for its Gear VR headset, which is expected to become available for consumers in November (with a price tag of $99, not including the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 that will be used as the screen). Recently, the South Korean tech giant also paired with Marriott Hotels to offer virtual reality experiences in select hotels, where guests can order a Samsung headset (equipped with a library of VR experiences) to their rooms as part of the hotel’s room service offerings.

With mainstream consumer products like the Gear VR and the Oculus Rift headsets soon to be released, 2015 has been a year of experimentation for VR — the L.A. Philharmonic created 360-degree immersive experiences to promote its brand, and the L.A. and Toronto-based studio Secret Location also created a promotional VR experience for a film, Insidious III.

Recently, the PBS documentary series Frontline unveiled a 360-degree doc on the 2014 Ebola outbreak, which will be used as a teaching tool at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University. PBS said it would use the documentary to explore the potential of VR for future projects.

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