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Cinemark bribes moviegoers to not use their phones during films

In a move that's either sheer desperation or sheer genius, Cinemark is rewarding customers with coupons for not using their phones during movies.

CineMode screenshot
Silence, I say!
Screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

There are at least a couple of different ways to motivate people into doing what you want them to do. You can offer consequences for bad behavior or rewards for good behavior. When it comes to cell phone use during movies, Cinemark is testing out a system that offers carrots rather than sticks.

CineMode is a new component to Cinemark's smartphone app for iPhone and Android. You open the app, select CineMode, follow the reminder to silence your phone, and then activate CineMode. It automatically darkens your screen. Leave it on for the duration of the film and Cinemark will send you a coupon as a reward.

If you try to turn CineMode off early, the app will gently remind you that you'll be missing out on a discount, though details of those discounts are vague. It looks like the rewards could include special offers for concessions, so maybe your large popcorn will cost $7 instead of $8.

CineMode may not be as fun as having ninjas roaming the aisles or as satisfying as watching an usher escort a texting twit out of the theater, but it's certainly an interesting approach to a problem that has plagued the movie-going experience for some time. It's certainly more humane than my idea of having laser-equipped flying stealth drones zap anyone whose screen lights up in the darkened theater.

(Via Gizmodo)