Hmm. How long DO people wait to go see a movie?

This thought sparked by the hysteria over the new Star Wars tickets. I rarely see a movie on Opening Night – I may have NEVER seen a movie on Opening Night* – and I certainly won’t pay 10 grand to see The Force Awakens that early.  But I’m gonna make a hole in my schedule to see it as soon as possible.

What about the rest of you? What’s the earliest that you’d fight your way through the theater in order to get a seat? And what movie or movies would make you want to do it?

Moe Lane

*I remembering going through a lot of trouble to see Serenity as soon as I could.

29 thoughts on “Hmm. How long DO people wait to go see a movie?”

  1. The only times I’ve seen a movie on opening night were…
    Army of Darkness
    The Phantom Menace
    and The Matrix sequel
    I shall never do that again.

  2. The one time I saw a movie on opening night was “The Rocketeer” – it was my birthday and my friends took me for a treat.
    Apart from that, I generally see new movies I’m interested in on the first available Saturday matinee.

  3. I don’t recall ever seeing a movie on opening night, either. These days, I make efforts to see RiffTrax live broadcasts in the theater as they are usually one day only sort of affairs.

    If I had certainty that StarWars 7 was great, I’d make time for it. As it is, if I hear it’s good from reputable sources, I’ll catch it on the second weekend or so. It will be around for a bit I imagine, so no rush.

    At this point in my life, the fun of riding a hype train for a film to get jazzed for a opening night showing is the opposite of how I enjoy entertainment. I’d prefer to consume it in private with as little fanfare as possible so I can take it as it is as opposed to what I hope/fear it will be.

  4. I just go see a movie whenever I can. If opening weekend is a good time to see a movie, then that’s when I get to see it. I don’t have a preference. I do try and go for the early show, since it is cheaper.

  5. Huh. I’ve been seeing films on opening night for almost as long as I’ve known what opening night was. That’s as far back as I dunno, Star Trek: The Motion Picture? At this stage in my life I’d guess that I’ve seen far more films opening day than I haven’t. Heck, these days I tend to go to the midnight/Thursday night premiere showings of a film. Just more convenient for my schedule.
    With Star Wars? Well, I have tickets for the 7 PM show on Thursday. The local Alamo is also having a showing at 5:10 in the morning on Friday, and I’m tempted to buy tickets to that showing too. Not because I’m so excited for Episode 7, just because it’s a movie being shown at 5 in the morning.

    1. I always enjoyed the reality-jolt of afternoon movies. 5am is Brilliant. Thank You! I must make my plans accordingly…if the movie is meh, the Event (as it were) will still be Great.

  6. Except I do want to see The Martian on the big screen.
    Always read the endings of books first (just to make sure I want to read it) but still finished The Martian in one sitting just to see HOW he figured things out.
    I am ignoring that Matt Damon is a goof and going to spend money anyhows.

    1. That one is worth seeing on the big screen. Damon manages to disappear enough that it’s watchable, although – it’s a movie, so the “how” doesn’t translate nearly as well as a book .. difference in the medium.

  7. I wait till I can see it basically for free. Most movies are trash, and the people who make and star in them pretty much hate me and everything I believe in. I’d rather that money went to a heroin-addicted bum than to the leftist leeches in Hollywood.

  8. Last movie I saw in the theater was the first Avengers.

    Growing up, I remember seeing The Last Starfighter and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom on opening day.

    Wild horses couldn’t drag me to opening day for the new Star Wars.

  9. It was out for 15 months before I saw the original. I can definitely wait that long for this one.

    1. It’s more likely I’ll see it on an airplane before anywhere else. That works fine for me.

  10. We got burned so badly by waiting all day outside the Coral Ridge 10 (in Coralville, IA) with their ridiculous policies – people at the front of the line could be joined by their friends, sure, no problem, how many tickets would you like, screw those folks behind you! Waited over ten hours… and didn’t get to see the movie. I will never again subject myself to that level of abuse… although things had significantly improved by the time “Day of the Doctor” rolled around.

  11. Hmm. If I bother seeing a movie in the theater, it’s usually opening night, but I almost always go to the Alamo Drafthouse, or one other theater that’s basically a clone of it that don’t allow unescorted kids, and will kick out noisy ones. For Ep VII, since I didn’t feel like driving up to buy tickets in person, by the time the Drafthouse website came back up I ended up getting tickets for Saturday.
    As for paying ten grand? No. I did, however, pay a few hundred dollars to go to a charity showing of Ep II a week before opening day. Proceeds going to a Dallas children’s hospital. And that was the only one of the I-III that wasn’t a complete steaming pile, so that worked out ok.

  12. Going to see a movie is entirely determined by the rest of life .. on-call schedules, travel plans, child care considerations, etc. etc.
    We (Mrs. Cat and I) try to have one or two “in the queue” at all times – ones that we both want to see – and, if we both end up with time and feel like a night out, that’s what we do.

  13. My opening day movie list is: The Phantom Menace; Fellowship of the Ring; The Two Towers; Return of the King. I’m sensing a pattern here.

    But the best evidence of my exceeding nerdiness is that I once showed up 2 hours early on the opening day for the JFK/Cuban missle crisis movie 13 Days because it was the first movie that was going to have the full Fellowship of the Ring trailer attached. I thought the theater would be sold out…there were maybe 5 people there.

  14. Star Wars-Empire, Jaws, Animal House (full release), Final Countdown. Yeah, I’m old. But nowadays….2nd weekend, first show after happy hour.

  15. Between the general leftist views of Hollywood, the Desolation of Tolkien, and the cluster that were the Star Wars Prequels, I generally wait to see the new movies until they can be rented or I see them on an airplane.

    As for the new Star Wars, I’ll have to wait and see. Otherwise I’m sticking to the now dead Expanded Universe (in truth mostly Timothy Zahn), and the pre-Disney Star Wars video games.

  16. Ironically for this thread, the only movies I’ve seen on opening night are Star Wars (the real one) and the Empire Strikes back. At Grumman’s Chinese and the Egyptian, respectively.
    That was… quite a while ago.

  17. I honestly cant remember the last movie I saw in theaters. It may have been either Avengers, captain america 2, or Kung-fu Panda2 (Whichever of those was most recent.) I’m just bummed out on theaters in general. I’m going to see The Force Awakens as soon as I can. There is a matinee on the 17th, but I don’t know if I can make it.

  18. I was actually 15th in line to go see “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” on opening night here in Dallas. I actually tagged along with a friend who did most the heavy lifting of waiting in line 6 friggin’ weeks before the premiere. I’d go out and hang out a couple of hours after of work but then would go home. You’d actually log your hours on a time card like you were punching in out for a shift. My friend, however, spent whole nights in a tent for many days to earn us a top spot. It was certainly an experience, buy my gawd, a tremendous amount of effort for what turned out to be a pretty terrible movie. The most memorable thing was of a guy that was dressed up in a fantastic cosplay outfit of Darth Maul. At the end of the movie *spoilers* when Darth Maul was cut in half *spoils* the dude’s shoulders sunk and his head hung toward the ground in abject defeat. But having been there and done that, to go all out to be the first one to see a 2 hour movie, I’d have to say I’ve certainly gotten it out of my system. I routinely wait about 3-4 weeks to go see a popular movie to avoid the crowds; and even then I’ll go to the matinee too.

    1. I forget which of the Harry Potter movies it was .. one of the middle ones, and was near-ish Halloween .. there was a pregnant superfan, with her baby-bump decorated like a Golden Snitch.
      I figure the kid had a 1 in 8 chance of being named Harry or Ron (if a boy) and a 1 in 12 shot of picking up Hermione or Ginny if a girl..

  19. If I go to see a new movie, I try to go to the movie just before it transitions to one of the smaller screens in the theater.

  20. As a family of 5, I never go on opening night – it is a sure-fire way to guarantee having the whole family be split up and spread out throughout the theater. I always wait until the Monday or Tuesday after opening night to see it with the family – however, this being Star Wars, it qualifies as “Laser Safety Training” and may go see it during work hours…. 🙂

  21. The few times a movie was sold out before the show I wanted to go to opened, it was Saturday or Sunday afternoon. The few times I’ve actually gone to a theater opening night have been less hectic. Though they were mostly not quite as huge of movies.

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