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Serenity Screenings Sell Out

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the i'm-so-freaking-envious dept.

Sci-Fi 275

DizzyEllie writes "Last Wednesday, Universal offered fans of Joss Whedon's Serenity the unique opportunity to screen an unfinished version of the movie in ten cities. This was originally intended to pull both fans and non-fans into the fold, but the screenings sold out so quickly (less than a day for all cities to sell-out, but reportably just a few minutes in a couple of locations), it is clear that only the hard-core fanbase will make it in. This seemed to be completely unexpected by Universal, as ads were appearing in newspapers after the sell out, and incentives for the fans to promote the screenings were removed. The screenings will be held in 10 cities on May 5. Serenity: The Official Movie Website" Definitely a unique promo thing. Shows serious stones too- I mean, if the movie sucked, they wouldn't dare do something like this. Hopefully someone will post a review for us on wednesday. And the rest of us suckers have to wait until September. Bah.

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Star Trek linked to pedophilia (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12397918)

This has very little to do with the article, but a few days ago the L.A. Times published an article regarding the Toronto Sex Crimes Unit [torontopolice.on.ca] that focused on their fight against child pornography ("Sifting Clues to an Unsmiling Girl" [latimes.com] ). They are the law enforcement organization that photoshopped the victims out of child porn photos in order to get the public's assistance in identifying the backgrounds (it worked). In any case, the article had this amazing claim:

On one wall is a "Star Trek" poster with investigators' faces substituted for the Starship Enterprise crew. But even that alludes to a dark fact of their work: All but one of the offenders they have arrested in the last four years was a hard-core Trekkie.

Wow. All but one in four years. Seemed rather unlikely to me.

So, I called the Child Exploitation Section of the Toronto Sex Crimes Unit and spoke to Det. Ian Lamond, who was familiar with the Times article.

He claims they were misquoted, or if that figure was given it was done so jokingly. Of course, even if the figure was given jokingly, shouldn't the Times reporter have clarified something that seems rather odd? Shouldn't her editors have questioned her sources?

Nevertheless, Det. Lamond does confirm that a majority of those arrested show "at least a passing interest in Star Trek, if not a strong interest." They've arrested well over one hundred people over the past four years and they can gauge this interest in Star Trek by the arrestees' "paraphenalia, books, videotapes and DVDs."

Det. Constable Warren Bulmer slips on a Klingon sash and shield they confiscated in a recent raid. "It has something to do with a fantasy world where mutants and monsters have power and where the usual rules don't apply," Bulmer reflects. "But beyond that, I can't really explain it."

I asked Det. Lamond if this wasn't simply a general interest in science fiction and fantasy, such as Star Wars or Harry Potter or similar.

Paraphrasing his answer, he said, while there was sometimes other science fiction and fantasy paraphenalia, Star Trek was the most consistent and when he referred to a majority of the arrestees being Star Trek fans, it was Star Trek-specific.

Re:Star Trek linked to pedophilia (-1, Flamebait)

TrappedByMyself (861094) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398025)

Oh, it's easy.

Nerds don't get chicks. When some nerds grow older and realize that they will never get chicks, they either:
1. Start touching little boys and girls
2. Start touching each other.

Just look at inmates, priests, and Middle Eastern men. Same thing.

So why Star Trek? Well, Star Trek fanatics are, on average, older and nerdier.

Flaimbait, Troll, Offtopic: you know it's true.

In other expected news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12397919)

The Sun rose again this morning.

Seriously, if it were Joss Whedon's "Grocery Store Trip" it'd sell out. He has many fans.

Re:In other expected news (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12397976)

"Seriously, if it were Joss Whedon's 'Grocery Store Trip' it'd sell out."

Don't hate. He does good grocery.

Re:In other expected news (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398099)

I fully support his career move to Master Grocer. On the condition that he hires someone else to do the TV commercials, of course.

Re:In other expected news (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398211)

I'm still waiting for Neil Gaiman's grocery list to come out. Perhaps something of a limited genre, but I'm sure it would be a good story.

Re:In other expected news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12398341)

Unless he showed it at 8 on a Friday night. Then, all those Whedon fans couldn't be bothered to tune in.

Re:In other expected news (3, Funny)

Badfysh (761833) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398746)

"Seriously, if it were Joss Whedon's 'Grocery Store Trip' it'd sell out."

Wow, when does that come out?

"Bah"? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12397930)

"Bah"? The article ends with "Bah"? How profound. And WTF is this Serenity anyway, that has such a "hardcore fanbase"? Sounds like porn ;)

Re:"Bah"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12398115)

How can you mod something that isn't rated overrated. Mod offtopic or something.

Joss Whedon....Who??? (2)

smack-pot (789301) | more than 9 years ago | (#12397952)

Just who is this Joss Whedon by the way? I plead ignorance!!! and incidently ignorance is bliss! ;-)

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (5, Informative)

dtm789 (878689) | more than 9 years ago | (#12397968)

He is the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel and apparently the show Firefly which has a huge fan base yet I never even heard of it until it was cancelled and they announced they were making a movie out of it.

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (2, Informative)

Taladar (717494) | more than 9 years ago | (#12397991)

It was cancelled almost immediately after airing the first episodes.

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12398017)

Sucked that badly, eh? And yet Slashdot fanboys, believing that they are a market force to be reconned with, continue to foam at the mouth about how wonderful it is. Typical!

Hey, geniuses!! A couple of hundred thousand freeloaders that think that spending money is evil are not a market force to be reconned with.

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (4, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398199)

Nah, it's actually pretty good.

They gave it a Friday night, 8pm slot.
They seriously under-promoed it.
Then they showed the episodes out of order.
Then they pre-empted it several times for baseball.
Then they decided to pull it.

And, lest you think this is just fanboy BS:
They released the DVD set. It reached amazon's top 5(10? something like that) in a matter of days. That's selling like Star Wars.

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (3, Informative)

rijrunner (263757) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398282)

It was 1 million pre-orders. It would have been higher, except that was the entire production run.

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (2, Insightful)

J. J. Ramsey (658) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398335)

Another problem was that the first couple episodes were a little off. The pacing was slow, and the tension wasn't *quite* right. They weren't that bad, but a certain "oomph" was missing. The episodes that came along after they rejiggered the intro were much better. I think what happened it that someone cracked a whip and got the writers to give their 100%.

Unfortunately, those who formed their opinion of the whole series from those first couple episodes probably got turned off by it.

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (1)

rijrunner (263757) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398437)

Which first couple episodes?

The first two aired were the last ones written after Fox gave its feedback as to what they wanted. The others were written *without* Fox direction.

ie, if the shows that aired were the bad ones, then it really goes down to Fox. The first episode aired was a rewrite of the pilot as Fox wanted a different type of story to lead off the series. One that showed that the team was good-hearted at their core.. The worst episode was the one where someone cracked a whip

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (2, Funny)

Shky (703024) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398511)

Wouldn't Friday night be a good night for Sci-Fi? While everyone else is out at parties the sci-fi nerds weren't invited to, they'll be sitting at home watching TV. It seems ideal to me.

(Just kidding, not trolling)

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398466)

Hey, geniuses!! A couple of hundred thousand freeloaders that think that spending money is evil are not a market force to be reconned with.

Just because the average /. user is big on OSS (and music piracy) doesn't mean they think spending money is evil. While I'm sure there is much in the way of free hardware out there, for the most part a good deal of money is spent by Slashdot fanboys on:

1. Media
a. paper
b. CD / DVD
c. toner / ink
2. Hardware
a. Monitor
b. Motherboard/cpu
c. Memory
d. Storage
3. Snack food - Beverages - take out

Not Compaq nor Dell's demographic... but defintely Verbatim, HP, CDW, Pringles, and Starbucks's demographic. Let's face it, a self builder is going to spend more money on their PC than your average Dell buyer. A/V pirates and OSS users alike spend a good deal on blank media, cases, and paper.

So what you are saying is the slashdot fanboy crowd needs to get organized and prove they are a market demographic and actively lobby for programing they enjoy? This would be wonderful.

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (5, Funny)

jordand (196379) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398286)

It was cancelled almost immediately after airing the first episodes.

...and yet The Simple Life is still running. Does that seem right to you?

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (2, Informative)

fugu13 (597296) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398427)

Oh, very nice with the Jubal Early reference. (for those non-shiny people reading, Jubal Early is a particularly interesting empathic bounty hunter who appeared on firefly, and liked making observations that end in "Does that seem right to you?") IOW, mod this guy up funny even more.

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (1)

rmccann (792082) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398577)

Well the actual 'first' episodes (Serenity pt 1 & 2) were shown last. After that it was canceled. So yes, it was canceled after the first episodes.

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12398170)

the show Firefly which has a huge fan bas

"Loud" probably describes the fan community better than "huge".

In general, the smaller a fan community gets, the louder its individuals get.

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (1)

Blackneto (516458) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398261)

I actually didn't know who Joss Whedon was till after Firefly came out. wasn't a Buffy fan.

Seeing Firefly get the treatment from fox like that was criminal.
I mean they are the station that took a chance on the Tracy Ullman show, MWC and Simpsons.

sad decline of society i say.

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12398279)

Fox's existence (along with all other networks') is the decline of society. The fact that people pine over TV shows called Firefly instead of classic lit is the decline of society. You have it all wrong.

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398617)

Quote some unimportant rube not unlike yourself at some point in not too recent history:

"Dickens's existence (along with other new-fangled writers') is the decline of society. The fact that people pine over Books called "Robinson Crusoe" instead of cave paintings is the decline of society! You have it all wrong!"

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (1)

MayonakaHa (562348) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398690)

You're right. Classic lit is the answer to life, the universe, and everything! How dare those upstarts try to create new stories that capture hearts and get people to think! Not everything on television is The Simple Life 7: Paris Goes Grocery Shopping or Star Trek: Flogging the Dead Horse (I love good Trek but yeesh, someome shoot these people). I love to read classic and new lit, listen to good music, and I'm a musician. While I think 95% of the stuff on TV is crap, I can tell what the good stuff is and tend to watch just that thanks to my TiVo. Have you even seen a good episode of Firefly? Go download the pilot episode also called Serenity and get back to me.

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (0, Offtopic)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398301)

Ok, now you answered that question ; What's the obsession with Biffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel here on Slashdot

I've seen both series once, and can only tell that it hangs together from generic storywriting ; With yer occasional chick-glimpse.

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12398393)

The popularity has to do much more with portrayal than with plot. The secret to Buffy's success above all was the presence of kick-ass women who were strong yet sensitive, filling a void which has existed in movies and TV for a long time. There's a pattern, too - how do you think Xena did so well? It certainly wasn't because of outstanding acting, directing, or writing. It was because of strong, confident female archetypes who didn't need to be pushed to the edge to show their bad-ass side.

(And the popularity of Angel was a byproduct of Buffy from fans who were hooked on the characters. And Eliza Dushku.)

I didn't particularly care for any of these series either, but I do appreciate the void that needs to be filled. I can only imagine how popular a show which was better written would be if it filled the same void.

*m*

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (2, Informative)

jfengel (409917) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398448)

At their best, Buffy and Angel were filled with smart, funny writing. The shows presented interesting challenges: they could be funny, sad, scary, and romantic by turns, between episodes and within episodes. The performances were often quirky and interesting, and they liked to take chances: one episode of Buffy was done as a musical, another as a silent movie.

They did long story arcs. Not quite as long as on Babylon 5, but long enough to make each episode potentially fun to watch both on its own and as part of a contribution to a bigger story. For those who like such things, cool fight scenes and scary monster special effects. And it had a smart, independent but deeply flawed heroine who really could be a good role model for girls.

That's at their best, which was usually when Joss was in the driver's seat. They didn't always achieve that. Sometimes they'd be stupid. Sometimes the acting was terrible. Too often, they were just so-so: not bad as part of a longer story arc but not enough to make somebody dropping in for a single episode care very much.

As much as Joss loved his actors, and they do seem to be good people, most of them simply weren't very talented. But they were game to try whatever he threw at them, and that was often good enough for me.

So it's a little hard for me to say, "Here, see episode X and you'll understand." I'd say that too much of the first three seans of Angel were simply lame, and yet it got interesting just in time to get cancelled. Buffy was pretty hit-and-miss as well. I'd say that if you got friends to loan you the first couple of seasons of Buffy you might enjoy them.

That said, if you really want it boiled down to a single episode, try "Once More With Feeling", the famous musical episode. It's hardly representative, but it gives you a good view of the things that they were trying to accomplish on the show. It's late in the series, and there's a good deal of background it would take to know everything that's going on, but it might hook you.

Firefly, in my opinion, represented the best of Joss' work, with significantly better actors.

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (2, Interesting)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398834)

I've just never been interested in any of the stuff Whedon's done. I gave Buffy a few chances, I watched 3 or so episodes of Firefly, I flipped through his isses of Amazing X-Men. I just don't get him. Of course that doesn't mean anything is wrong with people who do like him, but I just don't understand it and it seems so very unremarkable.

I mean all the things people mention about his work were also done by Xena, which I thought was a much better show than Buffy (and which had TWO musical episodes before the much talked about musical Buffy episode even aired!), and yet who even knows who created or wrote for that show?

Of course I can't understand why anyone watches baseball either, so what do I know?

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (4, Interesting)

steve_bryan (2671) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398487)

Firefly was so badly mishandled by FOX that I'd like to add at least one more piece of information for those who are not familiar with it. When you hear mainly that it is from the creator of Buffy and Angel you might get the idea that you would only be interested if you enjoyed one of those. I've tried watching both of those series off and on but without success.

I only bothered to do so because having seen Firefly in the intended order from the DVD's I'm sold on the idea that it is the best sci fi series ever made for TV. I can't say I have a similar opinion of Mr Whedon's other series but Firefly has such superior writing and characters that I can't imagine even trying to make a comparison to the other franchises that I enjoy but do not admire nearly as much.

If you haven't seen the series or only saw a few confusingly presented episodes from the FOX debacle (boy I hope some of the morons responsible for that were fired) rent the episodes in order from your local video store or NetFlix. I'm not saying I can't imagine a better series but when compared to its peers, Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Farscape, Babylon 5, ... it comes out far ahead.

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398508)

Funny that you didn't hear about it at the time. It was much anticipated here on Slashdot. I'm sure there were ads for it during Buffy, if you watched it.

But if you weren't on Slashdot, it's easy to see how you could have missed it. It was put in a poor time slot, and moved around a lot, and it was cancelled mid-season.

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (1)

shimbee (444430) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398026)

Here here. How about a little more context in the body of the post. I have no idea who Joss Whedon is (and after looking him up, I don't really care).

He's a loser! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12398056)

With a small but very vocal group of fanatic followers. They're like al Quaeda, small and insignificant but so loud and extreme as to be an annoyance. Kinda like a mosquito.

Re:Joss Whedon....Who??? (1)

purple_cobra (848685) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398182)

(paraphrasing one of the other replies)
He's the creator of a number of televisual turds; the most popular were turds with fangs, the subject of this story is a turd in a cowboy hat. In spaaaaaaaaace.
(ObBlindinglyObviousStatement: I am not a fan)

If the movied sucked... (1, Flamebait)

alexandre (53) | more than 9 years ago | (#12397962)

They would still dare to do something like this...
Matrix anyone? :P

Re:If the movied sucked... (3, Insightful)

angrist (787928) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398415)

If the movie sucks, then this is early enough that they can change it.

Common practice (2, Interesting)

Aneurysm9 (723000) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398001)

It's fairly common for studios to show workprints to test audiences during the editing phase to get a sense for what works and what doesn't. I'm not so sure what makes this any different.

Re:Common practice (1)

NOLAChief (646613) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398201)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't they usually carefully select their test audiences according to some expected demographic numbers or something? Since this was openly advertised, it smacks more of a promo/viral marketing campaign than a test screening. They'll probably make the people walking into the theater sign an NDA as a token CYA, but you know the first thing some lucky/evil /.er who went to see it is going to do is come on here and post as many spoilers as he can, getting the rest of us riled up and creating (hopefully) a 5 month long buzz that'll get a bunch of people in the theater come 9-30.

Re:Common practice (4, Insightful)

rijrunner (263757) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398218)

It is very unusual to show to a general purchasing audience. Usually test audiences are culled from standard test groups and are targetted demographics. They will be doing that also.

I suspect that this is a new interesting marketting attempt. They get paid to show the movie in advance to a small group. That will raise interest in the film and awareness a bit. It is not even free marketting as the fanbase will pay for this. I seem to recall a couple other instances of this sort of thing, but they are rare.

I seriously doubt they would do this if they did not think they had something though. A lot of the flamebait on here is blathering about the fanboy base and *nobody* flames a franchise more than an upset fanboy.

A test audience signs non-disclosure agreements. They *want* people to talk about this. Not quite viral marketting, but they definately think that word-of-mouth will sell this. Since their dvd sales were pretty much all word-of-mouth and sold about 5 million set to date, there is a certain logic to that.

Re:Common practice (1)

HarryCaul (25943) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398493)


Well...

Usually the test audiences are culled from random people at malls in the San Fernando Valley, usually by the sophisticated technique of "Hey, wanna see a free movie Tuesday night?"

I think the targeted demo and so on is a myth. It's mostly a lot of industry wannabes (who, of course, live in the Valley) telling industry are-right-nows what's wrong with their movies.

Keep that in mind, and a lot of decisions made based on test screenings make a lot more sense.

Re:Common practice (1)

rijrunner (263757) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398590)

No. Those are not random. The people go out with a checklist. X number of a certain type of person to see a movie.

The source of the people is somewhat random. But, not the composition of the people.

Re:Common practice (2, Insightful)

jordand (196379) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398353)

My understanding is that the test screenings have already occurred. The forthcoming screenings I would imagine are basically a bone that Universal is throwing to the fans, since the movie was supposed to be released already. (It was pushed back to September, apparently so it wouldn't be swamped by some other prominent sci-fi releases.)

Great trailer (3, Interesting)

fsck! (98098) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398028)

I was skeptical that this would ever really happen. Having seen the trailer, I'm very glad I was wrong. It's been a while since I've rewatched the DVD so I don't remember some of the characters names, but these clips from the trailer were hilarious, and a kind of humor sadly absent from most movies:

pilot: (flying into a battle) This is about to get interesting.
captiain: Define "interesting."
pilot: "Interesting: Oh God, oh God, we're all going to die?"

bad guy: This destruction, this is your fault.
pilot: No, *I* don't murder children.
bad guy: [smiling] Oh, well I do.

Re:Great trailer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12398076)

bad guy: This destruction, this is your fault.
pilot: No, *I* don't murder children.
bad guy: [smiling] Oh, well I do.

Uh .. ha ha ... ha?

*whimpering*

Re:Great trailer (2, Informative)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398229)

Character Names:

Captain: Mal(Malcom) (Former rebel. Wants to nail the space hooker)
Pilot: Wash
Engineer: Kaylee
Space Hooker: Inara
Stupid Muscle: Jayne
Female Muscle: Zoe (Wash's Wife, served with Mal in the revolution)
Doctor: Simon (River's Brother)
Preacher: Book
Psycho Chick: River

Re:Great trailer (2, Informative)

NOLAChief (646613) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398642)

Let's clarify things a little more:

Mal: Wants to nail Inara. Too much pride to admit it.

Wash: Ecstatic he gets to nail Zoe.

Kaylee: Wants to nail Simon. Annoyed he won't admit he wants her too.

Inara: Wants to nail Mal. Too "professional" to admit it.

Jayne: Wants to nail anything with boobs.

Zoe: Nails Wash regularly. May have nailed Mal in the past. Backstory hazy.

Simon: Wants to nail Kaylee. Too shy to admit it.

Book: Doesn't appear interested in nailing anybody.

River: Off in her own little world, so who knows?

Re:Great trailer (4, Funny)

NOLAChief (646613) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398291)

I was rather fond of:

Bad Guy: I want to work this out like civilized men. I'm not threatening you. I'm unarmed.

Mal: Good. *BLAM*

Re:Great trailer (2, Insightful)

Gudlyf (544445) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398804)

Or, before George Lucas got hold of the movie:

Bad Guy: I want to work this out like civilized men. I'm not...
Mal: Good. *BLAM*
Bad Guy: ...threaten...uh...

wtf is serenity? (-1, Troll)

carn1fex (613593) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398034)

Never heard of it.. watched the trailer.. lets see.. Group of hot 20 to early 30 somethings stuck on a spaceship. -Check. Explosions. -Check. Cheesy one liners. -Check. Chicks doing karate to high-intensity techno. -Check. So what hollywood spin-the-action-movie-wheel-for-a-plot have you guys bought into this time? And whos the guy who did something creative once so they can stick his name on it to attempt to give it some sort of nerd legitimacy?

Re:wtf is serenity? (1)

rovingeyes (575063) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398082)

Yeah welcome to slashdot...

Re:wtf is serenity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12398434)

The post for folks whose UNCOOL dial reaches 11.

This isn't news (3, Insightful)

pcgamez (40751) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398043)

Take any movie of any size and have screenings in 10 cities. It WILL sell out. With ~300M people and lets say 1000 seats, it is not hard to find a few people excited to see it.

Re:This isn't news (4, Interesting)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398575)

i think the point was that it sold out before the ads were even out. it spread by word of mouth, or online. not shocking to us, but the fact that there were so many people that watched the show (or the DVDs) that still were keeping up to the minute with news.

makes you wonder how the show failed so fast. was it because it was on friday nights, or because it was shown out of sequence (the pilot being shown last) or is the TV rating system flawed enough that they may miss a whole demographic of people that use VCRs/TiVo to catch shows.

-1 Wrong (2, Interesting)

Gerad (86818) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398618)

I hope you didn't mean that there are about ~300M people in 10 major cities combined, because that's the impression I got from reading your post. The USA* itself only has ~281M people, and Chicago (the largest city that the preview is being shown in) has only about ~3M in the city itself.

Furthermore, I'd be curious to hear where you got your "1000 seats" number, as there is no actual article linking any solid information, other than the official website, which only lists the cities being shown.

*And before anyone accuses me of being a excessively US-centric, the website lists the 10 cities, and they're all here in the USA.

Re:This isn't news (1)

9Nails (634052) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398653)

Close... I took my son to see "Millions" - a charming English movie about a boy who believed that Devine intervention blessed him with a bag full of pounds and he only has a few days to give it to the poor before the Euro renders the cash obsolete. That movie was a new release from what I know, no ad's that I'm aware of, and the theater was in San Diego. A city with millions of populous. However, despite being a good movie there was only 20-something people in attendance in a theater that could hold hundreds. Far from a sell out. And of that total in attendance was one large family from child to grand parent.

Canada? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12398048)

No sneak peeks for Canadians... :(

focus grouping (3, Insightful)

astrashe (7452) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398075)

Doesn't this suggest (I didn't say prove, just suggest) that they're making the movie by committee with focus group data?

I don't know if that's a good thing or not. Most good movies are more organic -- they're the result of someone's vision, expressed with comparatively small amounts of interference.

But then again, I'm already planning on not going to the last Star Wars movie [strasheim.org] , so I'm out of step.

Re:focus grouping (3, Insightful)

ewg (158266) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398112)

I hope they're not going to let the hardcore fans write the Serenity movie--I watched the Firefly show on DVD and did not end up liking at much as many of my friends did.

For me, the Serenity movie is a chance for the Firefly team to show me something different.

Re:focus grouping (1, Insightful)

thinkninja (606538) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398831)

As a fan of Firefly, it had better not be much of a departure from the core elements of the series.

If you and the rest of the general public don't like it that much, tough shit.

Hell, all movies are pretty much made by committee (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398306)

At some stage, the money invested becomes large enough that the execs become nervous. To ease the cramps in their wallets, as an antacid, they want things to blow up, go bang, crash, make loud noises and anything else that has sold well in the past.

Story, plot, subject matter, appropriateness are all plowed under for a six seconds of basically orange tinted celluloid showing some geographic background and a big fractal/dynamic fluid flow pattern.

If you want inventiveness and daring, challenging writing, look for some small unit who can't do the concept justice. (They just don't have the resources.)

It's a good thing (2, Interesting)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398564)

Don't believe that stuff about someone's vision. I think directors work best when faced with difficult constraints and with constant reminders that they're making movies for other people, not just to please themselves. For example look at what has happened with Star Wars now that Lucas has total control. Or look at what happened when the Wachowskis earned enough trust from the studio to make the movie they really wanted to. (And look how good they were on a tiny budget like with Bound.) Whenever I hear a director say "now I can finally make the movie I have always dreamed of" I cringe.

A few years back I worked at a company that did visual effects. The director of a highly succesful movie had come in to make the movie that he really wanted to make and we were going to do the effects. This was story that he really believed in and he told people this. The succesful movie: Mask. The director: Chuck Russell. The movie he truly wanted to make: er...um...Bless the Child.

When a director has freedom to make what they want, it's time to run.

Re:It's a good thing (1)

astrashe (7452) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398758)

I don't know -- what about people like Herzog? Or even Spielberg? I know Hitchcock had some things pushed on him -- Kim Novak in Vertigo -- but he did most of his stuff the way he wanted to do it. So did Kubrick.

I agree that many bad movies are made by auteur types. But most of the really good ones are too.

A movie like the mask is pleasant enough to sit through, and if I were in the movie business, I would have loved to have been associated with it, because it made money. But for me, a guy in the audience, it's not a great movie.

Unfinished version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12398081)

Last Wednesday, Universal offered fans of Joss Whedon's Serenity the unique opportunity to screen an unfinished version of the movie in ten cities.

So they fished out the tapes from the garbage can and showed to people ? Or they still finishing the movie in the next 10 days !!

Serenity trailer - direct download (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12398087)

Re:Serenity trailer - direct download (1)

jordand (196379) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398536)

Additionally, Hi-def versions can be found here [apple.com]
720p (108MB) or 1080p (129MB)
Quicktime 7 required (mac only for now)

ripoff (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12398103)

It's a star wars ripoff. Loner working, picks up 2 people, turns out they are fugitives from the gov't that wants them captured

I can't wait til we here that there are 3 more movies that explain how they became fugitives because the "Gedeyes" were all killed and the gov't taken over by a senator turned Emperor.

Goodbye karma. (-1, Flamebait)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398119)

But Firefly is to good scifi what Mutant X is to X-Men 2.

OT: Goodbye karma. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12398524)

When I saw the parent, it was rated "+2 Insightful". How the hell does this happen?

A one line flame can never be "Insightful". Opinions can't be insightful, unless you provide some *insight* into why you think what you think.

Anyone rating this type of flame as insightful should not complain when their mod-points are meta-moderated away. The correct answer was "+1 Flamebait", whether you like the show or not.

Re:Goodbye karma. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12398622)

"At last we shall reveal ourselves to the Fanboi, At last we shall have revenge." --Darth Joss.

Pent Up Demand (3, Interesting)

DumbSwede (521261) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398127)

I rarely re-watch episodes of even my most favorite shows, but Battlestar Galactica is showing on the HDTV Universal Channel and it is glorious in HiDef. Hopefully Universal will re-air the Firefly series. I suspect that if more of the content on the HD channels were Sci-Fi and Fantasy there would be faster buy-in for HD. When you look at DVDs it's always the Sci-Fi and Fantasy stuff that are Mega sellers.

The networks really seem to have a love hate relationship with Sci-Fi Fantasy fans. They are not content to cater to a smaller demographic. While that same demographic will none the less be loyal and unwavering for a good show, and support said show with DVD purchases and Fan sites, proving while maybe a 1/2 to 1/3 the normal demographic for other fair, the long term property value is much Higher. Sci-Fi fans should let advertisers know that they are major consumers and will well reward brands that support our hunger for good alternate fair on TV.

I will probably hear some boos on this, but I find it ironic that Enterprise has been exceptional the last few episodes. I liked it in general, though it could have been better. I was not obsessive about its departure, but now they've decided to go out with a bang and have plots that are not retellings of TOS I am vexed. It would seem we will never get a third Evil-Universe story, it seemed like a cliffhanger. Granted the Evil-Universe thing was used kind of gimmicky in the DS9 series, but Enterprise has it right by leaving the main universe out. Probably just get tired of seeing all the PC hand ringing our characters do, and enjoying seeing people give into some raw animal emotions.

check out that sneaky affiliate link in the post! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12398139)

ha, I figured out why they wanted this posted:

See the u=dizzyellie in the article link?
That's to get them credits when you sign up for the site to browse! SNEAKY! (wish I thought of it)

(credits let them get free t-shirts and posters and such)

Re:check out that sneaky affiliate link in the pos (2, Interesting)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398842)

Then kudos to them.

Slashdot is a "link site", not really a news site. Journalistic integrity is neither its strong point, nor a requirement.

If the submitter gets free goodies for being the first to send in the link, more power to them.

But back on topic:

As for whether the movie is good or not... if it's as good as any of the episodes were, but with a bigger effects budget, then it's already more than worth the money that many people spend to go see utter crap in the theatre. Joss is getting my money, it's already a given.

Wait till September? (2, Insightful)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398162)

That depends. After the screenings, a screener on p2p seems inevitable. (Now there's a conflict of /. ethics!)

Re:Wait till September? (1)

01000011011101000111 (868998) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398311)

<Fanboy>And, consistent with ethics, I'll be downloading, watching *then* still going to the cinema several times...</Fanboy>

Re:Wait till September? (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398542)

You forgot to ask yourself the important question: "Is the quality of the screener any good?"

Trailer? (1)

Brian Kendig (1959) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398172)

Wasn't the Serenity trailer supposed to play before Hitchhiker's Guide? I know of several people who went to see HHGG but the Serenity trailer wasn't shown. What happened?

Re:Trailer? (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398464)

Must be where they saw it. I saw HHGG last night and the Serenity trailer was attached.

Re:Trailer? (1)

Rallion (711805) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398648)

Mm, it was the first trailer where I went. Followed by Star Wars, then Dark Water, then a clever little teaser for Chicken Little.

Re:Trailer? (1)

SerenitySprings (880457) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398806)

Apparently, each theater company gets to choose what trailers go before the movies they are showing. The Serenity trailer was not in front of the HHG that I saw.

Reviews (3, Informative)

affeking (315129) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398202)

Actually, there are already a few reviews out there from an Australian screening. Here's one...
http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=20089 [aintitcool.com]

Its by a big Whedon fan, so probably a little biast.

CGI cities (0, Offtopic)

lastninja (237588) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398224)

Is it really so difficult to make good CGI cities? It seems that adding some dirt and dents would make things look a whole lot better. Also for some reason rapid fly-bys always look awful, too "clean" in my opinion, it should look more like it was filmed with a camera, with all the visual artifacts that comes from that.

Re:CGI cities (2, Insightful)

MayonakaHa (562348) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398676)

One thing I really liked about the show and that I hope they do in the movie too is the camera movements when showing something in space. It had all the feel of a guy looking out the window with a handheld camera. Nothing was perfectly centered in frame, zoom was used liberally, and there was a delayed focus when something was zoomed in on. It gave it more of a 'real' feel to me.

Wow (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12398227)

Not to be picky, but boy, that is some bad acting. I've seen better on Blake's Seven.

there are already reviews (3, Informative)

LuxFX (220822) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398235)

There's already been a couple of reviews to hit the net. Here is one of them [aintitcool.com] based on a screening in Australia.

H.264 trailer (1)

iJed (594606) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398303)

Apple has an H.264 version of the trailer at http://www.apple.com/quicktime/hdgallery/ [apple.com]

H.264 trailer is freaking awesome. (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398410)

I just got a new 17" iMac G5 with Tiger two days ago. I just loved watching this trailer in a big window instead of a little dinky plug-in on a web page.

Of course, watching it on the gorgeous flat screen helped. :-)

I got my tickets!!! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12398324)

With an announcement by Joss Whedon at the Serenity official web site [serenitymovie.com] , the tickets to this event went on sale at just after midnight Wednesday morning. By dawn, most of the cities were sold out. By 9 a.m., all of the cities were sold out.

I happened to trip over the announcement at 1 a.m, woke the wife, and scored our tickets. We're very excited about it!!!

What's it about? One good quote that I read was, "Imagine if Star Wars had been about Han instead of Luke." (but with much, much better writing and no damned cutsie aliens).

There have been several test screenings in the past to tune the movie. Almost always, the word leaked and these turned into flash mob events for Firefly/Whedon fans. This 10 city screening is a little different. The movie is nearly the finished product, but the purpose is to incite the fan base into a word-of-mouth guerilla marketing machine.

Universal apparently thought that there was going to be trouble getting butts into seats, and created a marketing campaign and ads just for this screening. With 30,000+ registered fans at the official Serenity website [serenitymovie.com] , they need not have worried about that. A couple of folks have even put their tickets on eBay with bidding now at absurd levels.

This promises to be big! Check out the trailer [apple.com] !

Trailer looks ... good (0)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398331)

I must admit to not loving the series - yes, get over the shock. The movie looks a lot better tho, and I am looking forward to its release.

Bah lameness filter, bah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12398381)

Granted "Buffy" and "Angel" have enormous fanbases, I've never been really that much of a fan of Joss Whedon's work. ...until Firefly.

It has a wonderful lasting quality that you don't see in ...any... tv shows anymore and the fact that FOX canceled it so soon can only be a testament to how good it is. .. I mean, its FOX..

They really have good programming on there... man... like ...Nanny 911...and...a bunch of stupid people standing up and becoming prefabricated no-talent celebrities based on looks and popularity without even having to sleep with anyone to get there?

I expect the movie to appeal to a broader audience than the hardcore fanbase though. The trailer looked a bit more "actiony" than the series is.

Serenity HD Trailer (1)

patdabiker (710704) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398489)

The Serenity HD Trailer [apple.com] using H.264 is quite impressive.

Beta movies good enough for production sale (4, Funny)

spideyct (250045) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398492)

Reminds me of this past post:
MS: Beta Software Good Enough for Production Use [slashdot.org]

(Only, this time they're charging.)

The people that are interested don't care that it is still beta. The people that do not want to consume an unfinished product will stay away.

Re:Beta movies good enough for production sale (1)

nutshell42 (557890) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398681)

It's more or less finished. The reason it opens in September and not now is that someone at Universal has some brains and noticed that putting Serenity in the Slot between Hitchhikers' Guide and Episode III is awfully like what Fox did with the "Friday 8PM when not preempted for Baseball"-Slot.

Serenity trailer in HDTV format, here (5, Informative)

Gossi (731861) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398583)

Especially for CmdrTaco:
80mb ultra high res XVID trailer [whoisriver.com]

It's 80mb. Well above DVD quality.

Needs Xvid. In linux, use mplayer -framedrop (you may also need "-vo x11" in linux if your graphics card doesn't handle very mad resolutions).

Also, whilst I've got your attention: I've seen the movie in London last month with the UK distributors (UIP), and it was freakin' brilliant.

Re:Serenity trailer in HDTV format, here (1)

steve_bryan (2671) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398776)

I'll see your 80 meg and raise you 60. On the Apple QuickTime site you can download an H.264 encoded trailer. It should look great on your 60" LCD assuming you have a dual G5 Mac driving it. They claim QuickTime 7 for Windows will be available soon but for now you would need a (high end) Mac. The HD gallery is here [apple.com]

Kangaroo Jack sold out too... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12398754)

Seriously, you could throw "limited release" on somebody's bowel movement, and people would flock to buy it...

Ah fuck! They had one in LV... (1)

doormat (63648) | more than 9 years ago | (#12398798)

Shit. I should have paid more attention. Normally cool shit like this never comes to vegas. Its all LA, NYC, Chicago, ATL, somewhere in texas, SF, etc.

Damnit.
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