Star Wars fans at a Los Angeles movie theater went berserk when the film was interrupted several times by a balky projector. Fans were screaming, throwing popcorn all over the place, and some people even ran out of the theater.
To make matters worse, when the film resumed, several minutes had been lost. Many fans apparently demanded their money back.
Audience members can be heard shouting “Noooo!” and screaming following the projector failure in the short video clip.
“It kind of ruined our night, but it’s better to tell these fun stories than the sad ones you hear about,” Michael Melendez told CBS2’s Jeff Nguyen.
It wasn’t immediately known whether the interruption was blamed on a technical glitch or some other cause.
Moviegoers did get their money back and a voucher for a free movie in the future.
“They were apologetic, but you really can’t get that first time experience watching a Star Wars film. You can’t get that back,” Kristin Nepi said.
Meanwhile, as expected, the film is rewriting the record book. Analysts say the film may gross anywhere from 246 to 254 million dollars the first weekend.
Deadspin puts those numbers in perspective:
To put Fans Line Up To Watch “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” In New York City Force Awakens’ opening in perspective, consider the following: Disney made $100M from the film in just 21 hours at 1PM PST; an amount that most successful tentpoles open to in a 3-day weekend. By Sunday, Force Awakens will beat or come close to beating the entire domestic runs of the last two Hobbits which were released over the last two Decembers— The Desolation of Smaug ($258.4M) and The Battle of Five Armies ($255.1M). It took Jurassic World five days to cross $250M. Domestic all-time grosser Avatar, which opened during this frame back in 2009 to $77M and ended its stateside cume at $749.8M, took 12 days to clear $250M. However, that was during the pre-historic days of digital and 3D cinema. When Avatar opened there were 3,100 RealD screens in the U.S./Canada; now there are 14,000 with the majority of them playing Force Awakens.
Currently, Saturday is expected to fall 42% from Friday. But much of that hinges on how much walk-up business Force Awakens gets, and Disney and major chains continue to beat the drum that there are plenty tickets available. One suburban L.A. Regal multiplex only had 10PM shows left as of 5:30PM on Friday with all prior shows sold out. When it comes to box office analysts calculating projections for Force Awakens, it’s a challenge as the statistical set of data is minimal. We observed how hard this was for distribution executives after Jurassic World opened.
The hysteria being generated by the opening of this film is embarrassing. I love Star Wars but, in the end, it’s just a film, people. In truth, classical writers like Chaucer and playwrights like Sophocles told many of the same kinds of moral parables without overwhelming special effects and heavy-handed metaphors.
You can’t beat Star Wars for rollicking good fun and action. It is escapist entertainment of the highest quality. But the films, to date, have said little new or original about the human condition, despite pretentious attempts by some cultural critics to convince us otherwise.
But none of that matters. I’m sure I’ll thoroughly enjoy seeing A Force Awakens — after the crowds start to thin out.