These days, Hollywood blockbusters provide much more than hours of entertainment for audiences. In recent years, several tentpoles have launched charity initiatives, using their platform to raise awareness for a variety of great causes. The likes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Trek Beyond, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 have partnered up with Omaze, giving fans a chance to win cool prizes while also making a substantial impact in the world. All of the campaigns have been very successful, giving studios all the more reason to continue the tradition.
Next year's Fast 8 is the latest blockbuster to join the cause. In a new video posted on the official Fast & Furious YouTube channel (watch it above), various cast members detail a new contest to support the Paul Walker Foundation. Participants can enter and be eligible to win a set visit to watch the filming of one of the franchise's trademark car chase sequences and become the newest member of Dominic Toretto's family.
Full details are available on Omaze's website. One lucky winner and a friend will be flown to Atlanta and stay in a 4-star hotel for free, meet the stars of the film, and get an inside look at some of the movie's vehicles. All it takes is a $10 donation to be entered, so the campaign is great for viewers on a budget. There are also a variety of campaign perks available for those who hit certain benchmarks, such as t-shirts, autographed posters, and signed model cars. As of today (July 8, 2016), the contest is open for a period of 14 more days, meaning it will end on July 22, 2016.
The Paul Walker Foundation was started by the late actor's daughter Meadow as a way to preserve her father's spirit and goodwill towards others. Its primary goal is to protect the wildlife and oceans. Walker, of course, was best known for his role as Brian O'Connor in the Fast & Furious series, and tragically passed away during production of Furious 7. The running theme of the franchise has been family and brotherhood, as a strong bond formed between the cast as they worked on the films (which is evidenced in the YouTube video). This is a nice and touching way of making Walker a part of Fast 8 while honoring his legacy.
There are plenty of incentives for fans to donate, as the trip to Atlanta sounds like it will be an incredibly fun time. Even though there's only one grand prize, the merchandise certainly has its own value and would look great on display in someone's home. In the end, everyone who takes part in the campaign can take solace in the fact that they're making a positive difference in society, which is what ultimately matters the most. Fast & Furious has grown from a niche property to $1 billion juggernaut over the course of 15 years, so it's great to see the franchise give back to the community.
Fast 8 hits U.S. theaters on April 14, 2017.