I remember back in college (lo those many years ago) when groups of us would get tickets to the midnight screening of the latest Harry Potter movie or Children of Men or Spider-Man 3. Increasingly, though—in order to bolster ticket sales figures—bigger tentpole movies are being released earlier in the evening the night before the official release date. One doesn’t even need to stay up super late to get to see it. And, if reports are correct, you will be able to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the early bird special time of 7:00pm on Thursday, December 17th.
According to Slashfilm, at least one theater (the Esquire in Sacramento, CA) has listed the first screening of the long-awaited seventh installment in the space opera saga as being Thursday at 7:00pm for its IMAX screens. This was in response to a question from one of the theater’s followers on Twitter, but it should be noted the tweet has since been deleted:
We certainly don’t know if this is indicative of all theaters, or even of all IMAX theaters, but it does seem likely that you’ll probably be able to find some tickets to 7:00pm shows the night before general release. There’s still no official word as to when tickets will go on sale, but many sources are hinting that it’ll be some time in October, which sounds about right.
So, gone are the days of people needing to camp out for weeks at a time to buy tickets and then spend all day waiting for that midnight show. Now you can buy it online and saunter into the theater after an early dinner and still be among the first to see the most highly anticipated movie of the year. Ah, the future!
Do you think we’ve lost a bit of cinema culture with this kind of practice, or is any excuse to see it earlier good enough for you? Let us know in the comments below!
Kyle Anderson is the Weekend Editor and a film and TV critic for Nerdist.com. Follow him on Twitter!