Ice Age: Collision Course, the newest addition to the 14-year-old franchise, hits theaters next month on July 22, but fans don’t have to wait that long to revisit their favorite characters and settings. Zynga, famous for hits such as Farmville, released a new free-to-play match-3 mobile game yesterday, Ice Age: Arctic Blast.

The game was developed in partnership with 20th Century Fox and promotes the upcoming movie with two exclusive movie clips for fans to enjoy. Furthermore, in a deal with Regal Entertainment, players can use the game to purchase movie tickets. Meanwhile, the game’s trailer will run at 570 Regal Cinema theater lobbies for two weeks following the film’s release. The movie stars the voices of John Leguizamo, Jennifer Lopez, Josh Peck, Queen Latifah and many more.

Jim Stern, executive producer of Ice Age: Arctic Blast, talks to [a]listdaily about how the game enhances the movie-going experience and the growing relationship between films and mobile gaming.

How did the partnership between Zynga and 20th Century Fox come into being?

Both companies have wanted to work together for quite some time with the right opportunity. With Ice Age: Collision Course, Fox was looking to celebrate the new movie with a fresh take on a mobile game that would leverage the entire film franchise. The timing was perfect for us, as we wanted a popular entertainment brand to pair with our innovative match-3 gameplay. As the biggest mass market genre on mobile, we see high levels of audience affinity between fans of match-3 gameplay and the Ice Age brand, which is one of the top animated international movie franchises of all time.

Do players have to do anything special to unlock the exclusive movie scenes?

They just need to play past the general FTUE [First Time User Experience] to have access. Once they do, they can earn valuable rewards, including acorns—the game’s currency—by watching the never-before-seen movie moments.

How does a popular franchise like Ice Age help enhance the match-3 experience?

People familiar with the franchise will have an immediate affinity for their favorite scenes from the original four films and will be delighted with the content from the upcoming Ice Age: Collision Course movie. It was very important to us that all 16 characters were deeply integrated into the actual gameplay. Whether it’s Ellie siphoning all of the jewels from the board or Scrat expanding the board after you’ve collected enough acorns, we recreated everyone’s favorite characters in a way that is meaningful and stays true to their on-camera personalities.

How does the Facebook integration work?

Players 13-years and older can connect with their real-world friends to see how they are progressing in the game and send them in-game advantages, including lives and currency. They can also compare how far they have progressed in the game with respect to their friends, and compete for the highest score on a given level. Coming soon, players will also be able to help their friends by completing levels for each other.

How did Zynga, Fox Interactive and Regal Entertainment come up with the idea for purchasing Collision Course movie tickets through the game, while promoting Arctic Blast in Regal Cinema lobbies?

We wanted to create an experience for Ice Age fans where they could enjoy the movie and the game as a connected adventure. We are bringing that to life in the game by showing exclusive content and giving players the opportunity to buy movie tickets in real-time. Once fans experience the movie magic of Ice Age: Collision Course in the theaters, they can take their favorite characters home with them and continue the experience in Ice Age: Arctic Blast.

We’re seeing an increasing number of tie-ins between mobile games and movies recently. How do you think the two experiences complement each other?

Movies and mobile games are not only great sources of entertainment, they are wonderful opportunities for families and friends to spend time together. Connecting the two media experiences allows people to interact with the brands they love at a time and place that is convenient for them.