Last week, Despicable Me 2’s Facebook page had an offer for free advance screenings on Tuesday, June 25th at 7:30 pm. Since I am typing this on Tuesday, June 25th at 8:30 pm, you can correctly assume I’m not in the theater watching the movie.
I don’t know what went wrong. I signed up via my phone & got the confirmation e-mail moments later, then printed out the ticket when I got home. All was good! BEE-DO, BEE-DO, BEE-DO, BEE-DO god I love that part from the trailer.
Everything lined up at work today, too! I was actually given an out-of-state delivery late this morning, which would’ve meant I certainly wouldn’t have made it back in time, but it miraculously cancelled a moment later, and I found myself back at base by 5:30. Plenty of time to grab dinner & still be in line over an hour before showtime, huzzah!
I expected there to be a long line at the theater, and Orange County did not let me down! At 6:02, I got in line behind a couple hundred people & stood there playing Minion Rush on my iPhone. Great game, even with the near-mandatory IAP if you want to unlock anything past the 1st costume. Still, everything going as expected, fun times ahead!
A few minutes before 7:00, the line begins to move, and by 7:10 I can now actually see the entrance to the theater. Then the line stops. No big deal, I think. Probably somebody caught trying to sneak in a camera or something, nothing major. At 7:20, we still haven’t moved again, and at 7:26, I can see a man & a woman in identical suits walking down the line, handing purple cards to everyone as they go.
Then I see the people walking away after they’ve received their card.
As it turns out, Universal overbooked the screening. By at least 200 tickets. I honestly don’t see how this was possible, as there’s a set number of seats in the theater, and it stands to reason that that number would have been communicated to the ticket service. How else would they be able to tell me that no more tickets were available when I checked the site a day after I’d reserved mine? This shit didn’t happen when I came to the very same theater to see the free Dark Knight Rises prologue in 2012, and THAT had way more people turn out to see it. Yeah, yeah, I KNOW I’m bitching about a missing out on a FREE movie, but y’know what? SHUT UP. SHUT. UP.
And don’t get me wrong, I am NOT thinking of the families with small children who were turned away, potentially scarring the kids for life, or at the very least, several minutes. Frankly, I wasn’t looking forward to sitting among the little pricks for two hours anyway. No, I’m outraged for ME, a grown man (physically) in his 40s who JUST WANTED TO SEE A GODDAMNED MOVIE WITH THOSE FUNNY LITTLE MINION BASTARDS. I LOVE that one with the fire signal lights on his head, going BEE-DO, BEE-DO, BEE-DO, BEE-DO into his little megaphone. YOU GO, CARL!
Anyway, the kicker here is that the purple card I was given is actually a signup form for the Universal Pictures Moviegoer Club. By filling it out and mailing it (no postage necessary in the U.S.) I could randomly receive free passes to future Universal Pictures screenings! Of course, Universal hasn’t had an interesting looking movie since the first Despicable Me, and I’m a staunch opponent of their continued use of DRM software in their music CDs. Plus, I’m not exactly optimistic about possible future screenings after seeing how this one was handled, so I thought I’d have some fun with the card.