“The closer you look, the less you see.”
That’s the famous tagline for the 2013’s Now You See Me, a movie featuring a group of magician Robin Hood-style thieves called The Four Horsemen as they execute elaborate international heists while in front of a live audience half a world away. The sequel, Now You See Me 2, stars Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Lizzy Caplan, Dave Franco, and Mark Ruffalo hits US theaters on June 10, with Daniel Radcliffe making his first appearance in the movie series. Set three years after the events of the last film, The Four Horsemen come together once again to perform amazing feats of magic and illusion while pulling off their most impossible heist yet.
But the magic isn’t limited to the film. The movie’s promotional efforts pull off plenty of magical illusions of their own, to get fans rushing to theaters for more.
Take A Closer Look
The #LookCloser campaign is perhaps the biggest promotion the movie has to offer. In it, The Eye (the movie’s magical secret society) has hidden riddles and clues throughout the film’s promotional materials as part of a recruitment effort. Fans need to look closely at posters, trailers and social media posts to spot clues. Once a clue has been solved, the answer can be entered on the campaign’s website to unlock exclusive content like cast shout-outs and behind-the-scenes 360-degree videos. Perceptive and clever participants were also entered into a sweepstakes to win a BMW F800R motorcycle, just like the one in the movie.
— Now You See Me 2 (@NYSMmovie) June 3, 2016
That Magic App
If you want to impress your friends and family with a few illusions of your own, then you can start with the free Now You See Me 2 Mobile Magic app. Fun tricks include “Magic Money,” an augmented reality illusion that scans any $1, $5, $20 or $100 bill and can make it float, transform and multiply in your hands. Similarly, “Mind Reading Sugar Packet” picks out your friend’s favorite number and uses augmented reality to have it float out in the air from any regular sugar packet.
Non-augmented reality tricks include detailed instructions on how to flick and catch playing cards like a pro, predict which cards will be picked from a shuffled deck, and a 3-Card Monte game that challenges players to keep track of the queen. Lastly, the app allows you to access an online scavenger hunt.
Hall Of Mirrors
The movie is supported by an interactive website that pulls you into a world of online illusion when you scroll down the page. Magical effects include a funhouse mirror sequence that features characters from the movie. The mirrors rotate as viewers scroll the mouse wheel. Next is the London rain scene, as seen in the trailer, where thousands of 3D water droplets suddenly freeze in place, then start “falling up” as users continue to scroll. The experience concludes in a Chinese magic shop (which is probably a location from the movie), where old-time-style magic posters featuring the main actors float in mid-air.
A Magical Trip To China
Magic doesn’t have to be limited to what’s on the screen. Actor Mark Ruffalo is an activist with Water Defense, a non-profit organization that’s out to protect drinking water and raise awareness of water contamination issues around the world. Ruffalo held a fundraising contest, where a lucky winner (and a friend) who donated to the cause could win a chance to fly to Beijing and attend the red carpet Now You See Me 2 premiere with him. Also included in the package was three-night hotel stay, car service, and a livestream with Mark Ruffalo. The premiere was yesterday, and whether or not the winner also got to hang out with attendees like magician David Copperfield is unknown.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) June 3, 2016
Fun With Fans
Regal Cinemas decided to have a little fun of its own by offering unsuspecting customers a trick Now You See Me 2 bag of popcorn. The bag, which is supposedly empty, fills with popcorn after customers say the name of the movie and the magician shakes it. If only fans really could pick up an endless bag of popcorn.
— Regal Cinemas (@RegalMovies) June 6, 2016
Now You See The Sale
In a recent partnership with Steam, Lionsgate Entertainment offers its movies for purchase on the digital gaming platform. There’s no better way to get in the mood for the sequel than to watch the original Now You See Me, which can be picked up for a steal. The movie is also on sale across other digital platforms, but (presumably) few of them will allow you to watch the movie in a giant virtual movie theater using the HTC Vive VR headset.