”Super 8”: coming sooner to a theater near you. (Francois Duhamel/Paramount Pictures)

Paramount announced today that J.J. Abrams’s Spielbergian monster movie will open Thursday, a day earlier than its scheduled midnight Friday release date, on about 300 screens around the country. In partnership with Twitter, the studio is directing people to #Super8Secret, a sponsored hashtag that takes Twitter users to a direct link to buy tickets for the Thursday screenings. (Read Ann Hornaday’s review of “Super 8.”)

Some theaters will also throw in free popcorn (I’m betting it’s the kiddie size, but whatever, free is free) as part of the screenings.

Twitter and Paramount are hyping this as as the first-ever “Tweet movie sneak preview.” The surprise element is certainly interesting, as it’s rare for a film to push up its release date at the last minute. But then, J.J. Abrams does love his surprises.

Given the concern about how “Super 8” is tracking in terms of audience awareness, an extra day may give a small boost to its box office receipts.

In the Washington area, “Super 8” will open Thursday at the Uptown and Regal Gallery Place, then roll out with showtimes at additional theaters, as previously planned.

This post previously appeared on Celebritology.