When movie studios hold fan events, they usually screen a scene or montage from the film being promoted and give fans a chance to interact with actors or crew from the movie. Everyone usually has a good time, and the fans get to brag to friends about what they saw and the swag they received (hopefully giving the movie some word-of-mouth hype in the process.)
Deadpool fans were expecting something along those lines when Fox held fan events for the movie in New York and Los Angeles on January 18. The screened footage ran a little long, however, as Fox screened the entire movie at both events, much to the assembled fans' delight.
According to ComicBook.com, the two events were advertised as offering "first-look footage" of the new film. Once the New York event was underway, star Ryan Reynolds set up the evening and introduced the movie to the excited fans. In Los Angeles, Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld and Marvel superstar Stan Lee were in attendance along with director Tim Miller, actors T.J. Miller and Brianna Hildebrand, and screenwriters Rhett Rheese and Paul Wernick.
This is only the latest unexpected move in what has been a fairly unconventional marketing campaign. During the movie's promotion we've seen the "12 Days of Deadpool" at Christmas, Ryan Reynolds trick-or-treating in character on Halloween, the film's rating being announced during an assault on Mario Lopez and more red-band trailers than you can shake an animated green superhero suit at. Given Deadpool's habit of breaking the fourth wall in the comics, at times it's hard to tell where the promotion ends and the movie character begins.
Screening the entire film for rooms full of fans shows that Fox has confidence in the movie, since a bad experience at the events could generate significant negative word of mouth weeks ahead of the film's release. As unconventional as it was, the move also seems oddly fitting for Deadpool since the movie wouldn't even exist without the fan community. When the original test footage created for the film was leaked, the reaction was so positive that Fox had to take notice and give the fans what they wanted. Ever since then, everyone involved with the movie has been trying to pay the fans back for their love.
So far, Twitter has been flooded with positive reactions from the film. Multiple users have even declared it not only the best X-Men film to date, but also their favorite film out of any done with Marvel characters. Fox's gamble on the film seems to be paying off, giving them a few weeks to build even more hype around the movie before its release next month.
Deadpool hits theaters on February 12, 2016. It is part of the X-Men universe of films, and will be followed by X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016.