The modern superhero movie was essentially invented in 2000 when Bryan Singer's X-Men debuted, and things have never really been the same since. Singer is still at it, and the X-Men franchise is still going strong, with X-Men: Apocalypse about to open in North America this weekend. The franchise is still trying to break new ground, but not just in the movie itself. As of today, X-Men: Apocalypse will be the first film ever to allow people to purchase tickets on SnapChat.

Twentieth Century Fox has bought the first ever Snapchat ticketing ad unit, which SnapChat is calling "3Vi" ads. The video ad will show up in the app's Discover section and will allow the user to swipe up to purchase movie theater tickets right there in the app via either Fandango or The ad started running on May 13 and will continue until May 26, the night before Apocalypse starts its theatrical run in the states. People, BuzzFeed, Food Network, Vox, Vice, and the Wall Street Journal and others will all be running the ad for the studio.

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Not only did the marketing team decide to try something new with the ticket offerings, but they are doubling down hard on the social media platform because they also have taken over all nine of SnapChat's selfie lens slots for 24 hours starting May 23. Users will be able to make themselves look like Magneto, Nightcrawler, Mystique and other well known mutants for the day. These lens ads come at a high price though, as SnapChat recently revealed that these sponsored lenses range anywhere from $100,000 to $750,000. So Fox is banking that the many millennials who use the app will be swayed to see the movie by the novelty of getting to look like Cyclops for a minute.

The story of X-Men: Apocalypse is picking up in the 80s, several years after Days of Future Past left off and follows Professor X (James McAvoy), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and Beast (Nicholas Hoult), who join forces with a number of young mutants to stop the villainous Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac). Apocalypse is the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel's X-Men universe, who has amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign.

Though the film has yet to debut in North America, it has already done very well internationally, having pulled in just over $100 million after opening in the U.K., Mexico, Brazil and several other big markets. The film will be facing stiff competition heading into the Memorial Day weekend though, as Disney is also releasing Alice Through The Looking Glass and there will be some strong hold over competition in the form of The Angry Birds Movie, Neighbors 2 and Captain America: Civil War, which should still pull in decent money even though it has been out for a few weeks. Unfortunately, the reviews for Apocalypse haven't been as strong as the the last two entries in the series, First Class and Days of Future Past, but maybe the SnapChat sales will give it that extra little bump it needs. The film opens on May 27.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott