Man of Steel partnered with Walmart in an advanced premier at select theatres before its official debut on June 13, 2013. The tickets were sold nearly one month in advance and purchasers got to see the movie a whole five hours before anyone else. Ever wonder why it wasn’t at midnight?
Movies used to have an unofficial official tradition. The Thursday midnight premier was an event that the strongest of fan boys and die-hard moviegoers flocked to. The audience would cheer, scream, and gasp collectively at the marvel they had all been breathlessly anticipating for months. However, over the past year, they have all but disappeared. Instead, there are 10:00 pm Thursday or even 8:00 pm Wednesday premieres. According to Forbes, this isn’t a marketing ploy. This in fact, a reaction to the shooting at The Dark Knight Rises midnight premier as twelve people were killed by James Holmes in Aurora, Colorado, on July 20th, 2012 at its midnight premier. Following that tragedy, there has been a decline in midnight premieres to the point today where a Wednesday release date will get a 10:00 pm Tuesday advanced screening. It seems the movie content doesn’t affect the time either. One Direction: This is Us, rated PG, was released at 7:00 pm while Riddick, an R rated film, was released at 8:00 pm.
It is unclear whether this is a result of fear or troubling memories. Although this change can’t guarantee safety from any future tragedies, it does allow more sensible times for younger viewers. But where’s the fun in that? It is also with a heavy heart that movie buffs everywhere reminisce about their fondest midnight premier of today’s cherished classic films.