Sneak preview

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A sneak preview (from English to sneak [ sniːk ] "creep", preview [ ˈpɹiːvjuː ] "preview") or sneak for short is an unannounced film showing (preview) before the official release, generally with the usual entrance fee. When purchasing tickets, visitors do not know which film is being shown. The films shown in a sneak preview do not officially open until a few weeks later. Works are often away from the Hollywood - mainstream shown. This is another fact that makes a sneak preview interesting for movie buffs .

Sneak previews were created in the 1930s to identify the factors of success and failure of a film. Today, previews should generate additional publicity for the film. It happens that a preview of a film that has not been advertised or advertised only poorly is not very successful. For example, Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now was described by participants in a preview (by invitation) as "boring", although he subsequently won the Palme d'Or , two Oscars and three Golden Globes in Cannes .


In contrast to the usual cinema screenings, the film is sometimes presented, sometimes in connection with competitions. For example, cinema tickets, concert tickets, sponsorship items or film promotion items are raffled off.

In addition, in some cinemas there are questionnaires about the films or other forms of evaluation of the films seen. Film distributors are particularly interested in this information , as it can give an impression of how the future films will be received by the audience . Occasionally - depending on the involvement of the presenter - a special cinematic gag is switched in front of the sneak to increase the tension or to make speculations about the film shown.

There are many cinematic groups who watch the sneak previews every week, as they give them a broad overview of all film genres .

Development and problems

Sneak previews with original language versions have existed in Germany at least since 1991 (Grindel Ufa-Palast, Hamburg), German-language sneaks since at least 1995.

Since the beginning of the 21st century , coupled with the increase in illegal film copies , there have been fewer and fewer cinemas showing sneak previews. This is largely due to the fact that large film studios no longer release their films before they officially open in theaters. As a result, the lesser-known films take up more space in the sneak previews, which in some cases leads to a decline in visitor interest. In its heyday there were around 80 cinemas in Germany that regularly showed sneak previews; today there are around 60.

Early sneak

In addition to the normal surprise premiere, some cinemas also offer so-called “early sneaks”, in which a film is usually shown in the original version well before the national release. These premieres usually only take place monthly. In addition, films are often shown that will not even be shown in Germany.

Pay After

In the Friedrichsbau cinema in Freiburg , a special payment process called "Pay After" is carried out. The sneak preview is shown free of charge and visitors are asked to rate the film after the screening and to pay if they like.

See also

Single receipts

  1. ^ Finola Kerrigan: Film marketing . 1st edition. Elsevier / Butterworth-Heinemann, Amsterdam 2009, ISBN 978-0-7506-8683-9 , pp. 43 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  2. ^ Deutsch, Linda (May 19, 1969). The 'Sneak Preview' and what it is Toledo Blade , p. 18. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  3. Janet Wasko: How Hollywood works . SAGE, London 2003, ISBN 978-1-84787-165-7 , pp. 194 ( preview on Google Books ).
  4. Schnurmacher, Thomas (May 29, 1979). Response to movie makes Coppola reel The Montreal Gazette , p51.Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  5. Benjamin Moldenhauer: Shooting of "Apocalypse Now": In the end everyone was crazy . In: Spiegel Online . January 28, 2015 ( [accessed February 20, 2018]).
  6. ^ Pay after. Retrieved February 4, 2019 .

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