Full Circle - Looking Back at Our Superman Beginnings 7 Years Ago
by Alex Billington
June 14, 2013
It began seven years ago. I went to camp out for the opening show of Bryan Singer's Superman Returns, the could-be-cool new Superman movie. I discovered my friends, rivals at the time, had just snagged the #1 spot in line, so I decided to create a website called FirstShowing.net and setup behind them (in response). That was early June of 2006. The very first post on the site on June 3rd, 2006, I wrote "the Cinemark movie theatre in Colorado Springs (where I'm heading) just posted up their tickets for Superman Returns and Cars." That same theater is still alive and kicking in 2013 with more campsites now (see photos) including one by our friends at MovieCamp.co. It all comes full circle with Man of Steel, now in theaters June 2013.
There's nothing that special about a 7th anniversary, but I wanted to take a moment for reflection, looking back at our origins and how far we've come. This could be a huge day for the future of superhero movies, if Man of Steel does well Warner Bros might try to get Justice League on track. How about that? Within the next few years we might be seeing new Star Wars, Justice League and Avengers movies. I started this site out of a passion for movies. I was so excited for the release of a Superman movie I was camping out. And I'm happy to see so many other fans continue to share a passion for midnight shows of movies by camping out.
As embarrassing as it is, here's a photo of our vintage campsite from the "Superman Camp-Out Live" blog:
How long ago that seems. I even complained about the guys who beat us in the Superman blog: "The biggest let down: we're #2 in line. These other kids who were in front of us for X-Men 3 heard about our arrival and decided to jump-ship and get here earlier than us." Indeed. But how things have changed. Now it's all about the first showing, and encouraging the same excitement that we had back then. I love this remark I make at the very end about the reactions to our campsite. "Getting this sort of response is just worth it to be out here doing this no matter what anyway!" I've been camping out since Star Wars: Episode I, which rebooted the camp-out-for-seats craze and got us to where we are today. Now we're on the eve of another Star Wars saga.
It's fun thinking back over the years I've been running this blog, noticing how much I've grown, how much we've changed, for good or bad. But the one thing connecting us back to our roots - Superman, the Man of Steel himself. There was a lot of hype back then, and looking back, it was an exciting opening but it didn't hold up to the test of time. What will we look back and say in seven years from now? It's also cool to note that one of the first movie sets I got to visit in late 2007 was for Zack Snyder's Watchmen, and now here we are years later, with Zack Snyder's Man of Steel hitting theaters. It's been inspiring to follow the careers of many filmmakers since I started, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for them and so many others.
While I don't camp out as much anymore (it's not as easy in New York!), so many other die-hard movie fans still do. Places like MovieCamp.co support and encourage that enthusiasm. As explained best from their story: "We're a community of fans, a gathering of people with a common love of movies, friends who have yet to meet. Movie camping isn't for everyone. It's for anyone. … Movies are awesome, we want more. We want awesomer." We'll continue to do our best supporting a love for movies, a love for all things cinema and the incomparable theatrical experience. This weekend, that experience is all about Superman. Have fun.
This site is the best of the best. It has impacted my daily life. It's great that you took a moment to respect the origin of FirstShowing.net. Thank you Alex and Co. for all of your great work all of these 7 years. Keep the great work going!
Luis Eduardo Ortiz on Jun 14, 2013
I agree so much with your comment. I regularly visit only a few of sites daily and FirstShowing.Net is in the top 10 for sure. Best movie site I have seen in years. Thanks!
Dan on Jun 14, 2013
Hah, that sarcastic 7 year old comment on the "Superman Camp-Out Live" post: "Sounds like it's got a big future in it." Apparently it did have a big future!
Neuromancer on Jun 14, 2013
Stupid question: Why do people camp in front of movie theaters? Can't you buy the tickets in advance and with a specific seat? Anyways, love this site. It has the best design among all big film sites and I love the style of Alex's posts.
reeft on Jun 15, 2013
Nice post Alex. I think nostalgia is something every one can appreciate. You da man AB!!!
DAVIDPD on Jun 15, 2013
I've been using your site very regularly since I stumbled upon it about four or five years ago. Nice re-cap, keep up the good Work.
Guy who comments on things on Jun 15, 2013
I discovered Firstshowing in 2009, and have been coming back on a daily basis since! Thank you for fueling my passion for movies! Congratulations and respect for the FS team!
LosZombies on Jun 15, 2013
I have huge respect for alex for setting up this site.Since last 4 years this has been my only source of information on movies and i don't remember a single day not perusing through alex's posts.Great job Alex
abhishek arora on Jun 15, 2013
I always look forward to the FS News emails I receive daily. It's the only movie site I regularly get information and opinions from.
cobrazombie on Jun 16, 2013
Wow, I didn't realize that through various names in the comments I've been reading this site since the first year. I love this site. Its the only site I really come to for movie news. Very cool site for fanboys, that's for sure. In the future you really need a section for movies outside the fanboy world. Sometimes you don't give enough credit/attention to rom coms, kids films, and ordinary dramas. However I do have to admit that has improved dramatically over the past few years. My own story in connection with Superman Returns. I made a confident bet for $100 that Superman Returns would be out grossed by Cars by summers end because I didn't think Superman looked all that great and knew regardless of whether it was good or bad a movie about Cars that talked and had eyeballs was a slam dunk for Disney (as will be their Planes movie this summer which is going to surprise a lot of people). Just to make the bet either safe or a steal I bet an extra $50 per film that it would not only be out grossed by Cars, but also by X-Men 3 & Pirates 2. When it was all said and done Superman flopped and I made $200. The same friend contacted me this year and asked if I was willing to make the same bet again against either Planes or Monsters U.....this time I passed.
UrAllThumb on Jun 16, 2013
Nice article...you guys were the first (!) movie blog that I ever started to read and continue to read. It's crazy to think back to Superman Returns as the beginning of FS.net. The company I work for has Movie Day every year where basically everyone takes the afternoon off on a Friday in the summer and watches one of the blockbusters. My first year at the company was in 2006 and my first Movie Day was Superman Returns. I'm still with the company now and hopefully our movie day falls in line with opening day for Pacific Rim. Keep up the good work...7 years and going!
Hansel Tjia on Jun 16, 2013
Man, this site is incredibly awesome, the movie updates, news about new movies coming out, trailers, actors getting new roles, all this keeps me coming again, and again, and again to this site, from about, maybe 5, or 6 years, being South American, but having a profound understanding about movies, be it indie, fantasy, adventure, sci fi, action, or bizarre(LOL) and just having the experience of entering these worlds, making these journeys, its been a ver satisfying ride, and you have helped immensely with that, May the best wishes be with you guys and keep rocking for the next years to come, cheers...
wylles on Jun 16, 2013
Thanks be to you you Alex for your tireless dedication and commitment that has redefined the movie experience for so many of us around this world. Like Superman your blog represents an ideal...the love of great cinema. keep soaring! Rise.
Onechi on Jun 17, 2013
Wow I can't believe how this site started. Fair play to you. Its certainly turned out quite the professional gig. Well done. You stole me away from Joe Blow.
dom on Jun 17, 2013
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