Yesterday morning, I took an hour-long break from work to drive to the theater and get Vampire Academy tickets. Not my local theater, of course. My local theater wasn’t playing Vampire Academy at midnight. A few suburbs over, however, there was one lonely screening, and it was very important I got tickets. I had to watch it. The Weinstein Company decided not to hold any press screenings. We did our best to try and stumble into one but most who tried were told something about the print not being finished yet; so, catching the first public screening was the only way Cinema Blend could run a review by this morning. So, I decided to take one for the team and catch the earliest available option, even if it meant staying up.
I wasn’t the only one interested in seeing the film at midnight either…
But we don’t have a review. If you click the handy review tab on CB’s main page, you’ll see Monuments Men and The Lego Movie, but you sure as shit won’t see Vampire Academy. Why? Because I didn’t actually see Vampire Academy last night. My wife and I showed up at the theater before the screening and were promptly told the following…
"I’m very sorry. The studio called earlier today and forced us to cancel our midnight screening for The Vampire Academy. It wasn’t our decision, but we’d like to give you four free movie passes to make up for your trouble."
What. The. Fuck? So, my wife and I saw the midnight screening of Monuments Men with two of our passes, and when I got home, I poked around to see if I was the only one who had problems last night. I was not...
Those who tried to attend the same screening I did took to social media not long after they arrived home. In general, the vibe was more one of sadness than anger, though it probably helped that the film's producer, who arrived to have some fun with fans, zealously apologized for a decision she clearly had no hand in making.
Listen: if a studio doesn’t want to screen a movie for the press or doesn’t want to screen it at midnight, that’s fine with me. That might be the most effective marketing angle to take with a product that doesn’t exactly have the best buzz. If a midnight screening is on the calendar and people have already purchased tickets, however, it’s complete bullshit to cancel the showing. You should have seen how devastated the poor people I was at the theater with were. They really, really wanted to see the movie. They almost certainly would have tweeted positive things about it whether it was good or not, and yet, they didn’t get that chance, probably because The Weinstein Company got nervous and decided pissing off the most hardcore fans that have been waiting months was a better option than running the risk of a few bad reviews.
Maybe today I’ll head to the theater to try and see Vampire Academy again. Then again, maybe not. After all, if the studio doesn’t seem interested in letting me see the movie, why the hell should I spend more time and energy trying to do so?