Midnight Showings Don't Mean A Release Date Change!!
by Alex Billington
May 9, 2007
I don't know what it is, but the midnight showing additions recently have become huge (and I mean HUGE) news recently for this summer's big blockbusters. Why?! I have no clue. I'll admit right off the bat that this is a big rant on the other media outlets out there who are jumping at the idea of claiming some news story that just isn't so. Just because they add midnight, or 10PM, or 8PM the-night-before showings to a movie's opening, does NOT mean a release date change!!
What kind of reporting is this? Everyone knows one thing at least: after Star Wars Episode I came out in 1999, midnight shows are assumed to happen for major releases, especially during the summer. 300 even had midnight shows, so did Snakes on a Plane. It's a popular trend nowadays, and honestly it isn't even a trend, it's just a natural happening arranged by theaters for big openings.
First it was Spider-Man 3, which had some reports that the midnight shows meant a Thursday release date, one day early (or just sneaky, yea, very sneaky, showings of it at midnight). Next it was Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End that just the other day announced 8:00PM shows (early enough so that they can play the same reel twice for the midnights, once at 8PM, then again at 12AM) and more news outlets (Deadline Hollywood, SlashFilm, CanMag) picked it up as a big release date change.
And finally today, CanMag has really hit a nerve when they went off claiming Dreamworks said Shrek 3 wouldn't change its release date, and then when 10PM shows were added, they flipped out on Dreamworks claiming that they lied. Are you kidding me?!
I don't mind them putting out a press release saying that midnight shows are available, what I mind is when everyone makes a claim that adding midnight shows means that it's an entire release date change - that's not true! A midnight show starts at 12:01AM, just like when people camped out for the PlayStation 3 or Nintendo Wii, which means it actually is that day. The trend started last summer of adding a 10PM show so that more people could attend it because they normally get out very late on a work/school night. Then that trend has repeated (for Shrek 3) and has extended (for Pirates 3) to fit in more shows. That means they're still midnight showings, or if you want to be a bit newsworthy, call them "sneak peels", but the release dates ARE NOT changing! Please don't report news like this anymore guys, it's just wrong.