I came across this article on Entertainment Weekly a little while ago. Don't feel like reading the whole thing? That's okay - the gist of it is that seeing movies with crowds is awesome. I totally agree. There's nothing better than watching a movie with a group of people who are totally into it. It makes scary movies scarier and funny movies funnier. I think everyone has an instance of going to a movie where the experience has totally transcended the actual movie that they're watching.
I have always enjoyed going to a great movie on opening weekend. The Matrix, the new Star Wars movies, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter...I have fond memories of waiting in line for hours with people who are just as excited about the movie as I am.
"The Return of the King". I remember going to see this with my boyfriend and his cousin. We had tickets to the first show on opening day. There must not have been a midnight screening at that point, so we had tickets for like an 11:00 a.m. show or something weird like that. Since it was the first show of the day, and we wanted to make sure we had good seats, we all lined up inside the mall. (The theatre is attached to the mall, and since it was winter, no one wanted to wait outside). So there we were, probably 20-30 people in a line in the mall near the theatre, some in costume just waiting for the doors to open.
"The Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day". This was a fun one. For some reason, Jagger and I decided to go to the late show on opening night. Because the show was at like 10:00 p.m., the crowd had had lots of time to drink or participate in any other activities before the show. As usual, I insisted on getting there early so we could line up to get a decent seat. As we sat in the ever-growing theatre, the stragglers started coming in. You know the ones. The ones who walk in ten minutes before the movie starts and then stand there looking around for a seat, seemingly amazed that there are so many people at the movie. The crowd had been getting louder and louder, yelling quotes from the movie and whatnot, and by the point that these stragglers were walking in, people started randomly applauding them. Can you picture that? A theatre full of drunken Trailer Park Boys fans applauding and cheering as people looked around for seats. It got even better as the trailers started and people started to heckle the trailers.
"Scott Pilgrim v. The World". This wasn't on an opening weekend, but rather an outing with L.A. Mood, our favourite comic book store. They often will rent out a theatre for a comic-themed movie field trip. In this instance, the crowd reaction didn't come from the movie, but from the crowd reaction to a trailer. Remember the movie "Devil" that came out last summer? No? Let me refresh your memory.
Everything was going well, people were chatting and seeming interested in the movie until the moment the screen showed "From the mind of M. Night Shyamalan". A collective groan came out of the crowd. That's right - as soon as people saw his name, everyone lost all interest and respect for the movie. What an incredible, spontaneous moment.
"Sex and the City: The Movie". I went to see this movie with my friend, Kimberly. Of course, we were there super early to line up so we could get good seats. I had no idea that opening night for this movie was the girl outing of the year, apparently. Crowds of girls were everywhere, and most in matching T-shirts. Everywhere you looked, people were taking group photos of themselves and all I could think was "All of these girls are going to go home and immediately change their profile picture on Facebook."
Yes, there's something super special about going to see a movie with a crowd of people who are just as excited as you are. I love that little shiver of excitement that goes through the air when the first few notes of the Harry Potter theme play (the next time that happens I'll be so sad because it will be the last one!) and the spontaneous applause that often comes at the end of a movie on opening weekend. There's just nothing quite like it.