Studio to stage exclusive screenings Thursday at noon

In an 11th-hour effort to lift interest among under-25 auds, Paramount has joined forces with Twitter to release “Super 8″ for an exclusive run starting today in approximately 325 domestic locations, including all 239 Imax runs.

Pic, which expands later today for nationwide midnight showings, will go out wide on Friday at more than 3,200 locations.

The early screenings rep an aggressive — and unprecedented — move by Par to build word of mouth, particularly among younger moviegoers, before the film hits most Stateside theaters.

Par withheld key plot details from the film’s marketing campaign, then disclosed a few more details this weeks in hopes of enticing more aud interest. That’s led to muted curiousity among moviegoers, bizzers say, especially under-25 auds who aren’t as in tune with the J.J. Abrams-helmed pic’s nostalgic 1970s setting as the film’s core older demo. “Our whole approach has been to give away less so there’s a sense of discovery,” said Par vice chairman Rob Moore.

Par is partnering with Twitter, to promote the early screenings using a studio-provided link for users to buy tickets.

The Par-Twitter partnership, first launched in March when Par premiered the “Super 8″ trailer via Twitter, reps an ideal launchpad for “Super 8″ because those most likely to see the pic today (i.e., under-25 moviegoers) tend to be active on Twitter.

Moore said the studio decided not to release the film nationwide on Thursday but instead chose to use sneaks to focus on the film’s core fanbase. “We want the people who are most vocal to be out, see the movie first and really be part of the conversation,” Moore said.

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone added: “There are already millions of people talking about ‘Super 8′ on Twitter, and Paramount gets that. Creating more excitement about the film with sneak previews is a smart way to make this film a global conversation even before it’s released.””Super 8″ is projected to launch at a modest $25 million-$30 million. But the film’s minimal $50 million budget alleviates pressure from opening weekend, and the promo should help drive awareness.

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