Well, as any movie fan knows, Marvel is about to take another swim in the ol’ money pool this week with the new The Avengers: Age of Ultron. And, just as I’ve done with other giant movies like The Dark Knight or Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Lucas, I’ll be right there with the rest of the fans on opening night. And, just like any other fan, I’ll find something to complain about. In this case, it’s nothing more than the now commonplace practice of releasing movies an evening early instead of only midnight. Why is this a big deal? Well, if you read the title, you’ll know I’ve got three reasons to rain on the early release’s parade.
1. The Diehard Fans
To some people, people lining up outside a movie theater at 10:30 PM (and who may or may not be in costume) looks weird. I get that. But, imagine you’re so excited for something that you want to watch it as soon as possible, and not only that, but you’ll be surrounded by other fans as crazy as you who think starting a movie at midnight is worth it. You line up, maybe talk to other people dressed as a Slytherin student or Batman villain about their expectations. And then, when the theater’s packed and the movie finally starts, everyone cheers loudly- for a film. But then, once opening scene rolls? Dead silence. Respectful quiet from people who just want to experience the movie the way it’s meant to be. That’s not to say it’s like a morgue the whole time- expect laughter at comedic moments and even applause at the best parts. It’s almost as if you’re at a live play with all the interaction, including (unless you’re Spider-Man 3) applause at the ending credits. Never experienced that before in a theater? Well, you’ve probably never been to the late showing then. Your movie-going world consists of the casual fans.
2. The Casual Fans
If midnight premieres bring out the hardcore fans, 6 o’clock releases bring out the people who wonder when Batman will show up in The Avengers. This is the stereotypical crowd that people love to hate. Screaming babies? Sure, why not bring two! People lighting up the world with their cell phone screens? Check. Throw in that one stain of a human being who successfully stays being loud and obnoxious during the entire show, and you have what I call “the casual crowd.” Instead of a shared experience with your fellow fans, it’s a prime reminder that yes, you do dislike the majority of the human race. The best way to avoid these people is by attending a later showing that only the dedicated will attend.
3. Event Vs. Activity
However, at the end of the night, haven’t you watched the same movie? Yes, but you sure haven’t had the same experience. When movies open at 5:30 on a Thursday night, you’ve watched a movie. When you used to only have a midnight showing, you’ve gone to a premiere. There may be costumes and giveaways, but mostly it’s just a shared celebrational event. And I’m pretty sure those times are gone forever. Are we really going to wait till midnight when everyone else is watching at 5:30? What’s the point? Studios certainly aren’t going to go back to a more honest opening “weekend” at the cost of early profits. I’ll definitely be more ready for work the next morning. At the end of the day, I just hope Hulk’s smashing is loud enough to drown out the crying infants this Thursday evening.