Walt Disney's expected blockbuster Marvel's The Avengers opened the summer movie season with a bang on May 4, with big midnight crowds of ticket holders and rave reviews. Early buzz says the film could record the biggest opening weekend of 2012. That's good news for businesses that have hitched their star to the tale of earth's mightiest heroes banding together to save the planet from destruction. They've put an estimated $100 million in promotions behind the $220 million film, in addition to Disney's own estimated $150 million marketing budget.
To take advantage of the mania surrounding The Avengers, Wal-Mart Stores last week launched a Super Hero Augmented Reality mobile app for Apple and Android devices. Users download the app and then carry their phones through their local Wal-Mart; when they point them at special displays, their game characters gain new powers. To get all the powers, game players must travel through much of the store. (No, that wasn't an accident.)