Wednesday, June 29, 2011
A loose interpretation of Wednesday
I got an email yesterday from movietickets.com telling me to "be among the first to be transformed."
(I may actually be transformed, but I refuse to be "among the first.")
The email was to tell me that "midnight comes early" at AMC theaters, which are showing Transformers: Dark of the Moon tonight at 9 p.m.
It's become common for theaters to show midnight showings of new releases, even the ones that aren't that big a deal. In fact, I remember when the last Twilight movie came out, there were showings at some theaters starting every five minutes from midnight to 1 a.m. After that I think they did the decent thing and told everyone else to wait until the matinee showing later that afternoon. Though it's not unprecedented for movies to screen throughout the night, which is I think what happened when The Phantom Menace came out 12 years ago.
But the one governing rule used to be that you at least had to wait until the clock struck midnight to start showing the movie, so it was technically the correct release date. Well, not anymore. AMC theaters -- at least in Los Angeles but probably elsewhere -- is getting a three-hour head start on the movie's official June 29th release date. Anticipating the huge rush of fanboys who care a huge amount about the scintillating mythology of Michael Bay's mechanical monstrosities? (Note the sarcasm.)
The whole thing reminds me a little bit of the increasingly earlier opening times for retail stores on Black Friday. Back in the day, businesses trying to sell Christmas presents on the day after Thanksgiving used to wow us by opening their doors at 7 a.m., a good two hours before they normally would. Then it became 6 a.m. Then 5 a.m. Then 4 a.m. And then at that point they may have just skipped the really wee hours and jumped all the way back to midnight.
The Wednesday release date is already a head start on Friday, and the midnight show is already a head start on the Wednesday matinee. Now a 9 p.m. show? For Transformers 4, someone will have to push the envelope further and start the show at 8 p.m. (Though it occurs to me that perhaps the 9 p.m. time was chosen because it's technically midnight on the East Coast, though that logic is flimsy at best.) The really funny thing is that the June 29th release date itself seems to be a recent phenomenon, as I couldn't find a single poster on google images that displayed the June 29th release date. The one here, and all others, listed it as July 1st.
Sigh ... yeah, I might be seeing this movie. In the theater. In IMAX. I know, I know.
A friend of mine, with whom I saw Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (also in IMAX), recently treated me to a night at the Hollywood Bowl. My friends and I don't usually treat each other to such extravagant outings, but this was an exception -- when he invited me, I told him I had the interest in going to Star Wars in Concert, but not the money. I thought that would be the end of the discussion, but he called my bluff and offered to pay for my ticket. So I accepted, thinking I'd pay him for at least half of it. When he refused my money, telling me instead I could treat the next time we went to the movies, I hatched the plan to see the third Transformers with him in IMAX -- IMAX being closer in price (if only by a few bucks) to the Hollywood Bowl ticket than a regular movie.
At a recent birthday drinks, however, he hedged, negating that part of him that didn't care about the mass hatred of Michael Bay and just wanted to witness a spectacle. So we may see something different. (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, perhaps.)
You'd think I'd breathe a sigh of relief, that I didn't have to sit through the third Michael Bay suckfest in the theater, but what can I say. They've done a pretty good job with this trailer, and I was secretly happy to have an excuse to see this movie based on the obligation to repay my friend's favor -- which saved me the embarrassment of having to actually choose to see the movie of my own free will.
We'll see what happens. At least I know that I will not be among the first, and certainly not on the day before the movie is actually released.