Theater Shows Wrong Film Repeatedly to Guardians of the Galaxy Fans

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Theater Shows Wrong Film Repeatedly to Guardians of the Galaxy Fans

Guardians of the Galaxy Walk

Though one accidental showing could be chalked up to a mistake, repeated showings of Rise of the Guardians instead of Guardians of the Galaxy seem like trolling to us.

Fans got way less than they bargained for on Thursday when a Regal Cinemas in Virginia repeatedly showed the wrong Guardians film in a Guardians of the Galaxy screening. Instead of showing the latest Marvel film, the theater mistakenly showed the opening segment of 2012's kiddie flick, Rise of the Guardians. The worse thing is, it just didn't happen once, but three times. Dean Browell, who was sitting in the audience with his 10-year daughter states that they sat through 15 minutes of previews, before being shown five minutes of Rise of the Guardians before a theater employee came in to say they were fixing the error. Unfortunately, the same audience was then subjected to another 15 minutes of previews before Rise of the Guardians played again. The cinema then offered to give the audience a ticket to a late 3D Imax showing, with half of the moviegoers taking the offer.

But Browell, who deemed the Imax showing to be too late in the day, stayed on for the 2D showing and waited. According to Browell, "There was a 10 minute wait, then the lights went down again and the third go of previews started, this time with the new Interstellar one, which gave us hope." However, all hopes were dashed when Rise of the Guardians started playing for a third time, which drew expletives from a then-agitated crowd. Browell adds, "It was now 9:15 p.m., from an 8 p.m. movie..Those left in the theater stormed out and then joined a line 50-people long trying to get their money back, anything. We were so disappointed."

Fortunately for Browell and the others who stayed on, the theater refunded their tickets, gave them a poster for Guardians of the Galaxy, and tickets to a Friday show. Oddly enough, this isn't an isolated incident. A woman in New Jersey tweeted that the same mix up happened at a Regal screening as well. And again, the movie shown was Rise of the Guardians instead of Marvel's sci-fi superhero flick. CinemaBlend theorizes that Regal had been showing kid-friendly matinees featuring Rise of the Guardians and that an employee might have labeled the Dreamworks film as just Guardians, which could have heavily contributed to the wrong movie being played.

Guardians of the Galaxy has already proven to be a box office hit, with a projected $36 million estimated take at theaters this Friday. Marvel for its part, has banked on the film tracking well and even greenlit sequel even before the first one has been released in cinemas, with an estimated theater release in July 28, 2017.

Have you or anyone else you know experienced the same mix-up when watching Guardians of the Galaxy? If so, share your stories in the comments.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, CinemaBlend

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it hadn't even occured to me that this could happen, the fact that theatres still have Rise of the Guardians to show is surprising, that came out on DVD forever ago

At my Regal Cinemas screening just yesterday, they had issues for ~20 minutes with their projector, we ended up watching the trailers for The Giver and When The Game Stands Tall at least five times each.

Fortunately, once they realized that they were completely incapable of fixing the focus, all of us were offered our choice between a refund or a free upgrade to the 3D showing in the next room over.

CinemaBlend theorizes that Regal had been showing kid-friendly matinees featuring Rise of the Guardians and that an employee might have labeled the Dreamworks film as just Guardians, which could have heavily contributed to the wrong movie being played.

There are remakes, reboots, re-releases, and films with ridiculously similar titles pretty much everywhere. And it didn't occur to whoever labeled the movies that "Guardians" is too common a word to be used as an abbreviation? Have Men in Black and Meet Joe Black both been labeled "Black" for short? How about checking the year it was released? Or the studio it was from? Did the label at least have that? Apparently not.

This has been a cautionary tale about sloppy management and short-sighted inattention to basic details.

The 3D upgrades are nice, but I'd probably wait for the 2D one as well. Being blind in one eye means 3D screenings are useless to me.

Yeah heard about this yesterday and I still find it funny. Feel bad for the moviegoers but some of the tweets were hilarous!

Heh, it make me wonder if someone make a crossover/ mashup fanart of the two films (Rise of the Guardians of the Galaxy)?

It wouldn't have been so bad if they dint keep insisting on putting the audience through the trailers are previews each time, I mean 15 mins worth over and over.

Okay this is so funny.
Obvious proof that both movies have very generic titles.
It would be even funnier if they also showed clips of Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Gah'ool as well. :P

How does such a thing happen anyway? Those movies are two years apart from one another.

So here's the thing, I worked in the projection booth of a movie theater for a year in high school and I know how easily this thing can happen.

Assuming it's a small theater, they probably don't have digital projectors yet. If this WAS a digital projector, there was either a massive computer glitch or the most moronic person I've ever heard of in charge. Likely what happened was the print was labeled "Guardians" and there were a bunch of old prints for "Rise of the Guardians" also labeled "Guardians" on the shelf. Guy grabbed the wrong one initially, went back to the shelf, found 3 more with the same label (really bad labelling system) and the poor sap had to guess which one was which (it's really annoying to unwrap a print enough to look through and see what movie it is, you already have like 15 feet worth of previews that you have to splice onto the print when it comes in, it's no easy task).

No excuse for shitty labelling, but still, I see how it could happen.

I mean normally theaters don't keep prints that long unless they have a "summer movie club" for kids (our old theater did) that shows a bunch of old kids movies every day over the summer. Even when they do, new prints are typically on a different shelf (or at least to a different side) than the older prints, but again, if it was a summer movie club, they could have gotten the old Rise of the Guardians print sent to them at the beginning of summer.

EDIT: So it was 3-D IMAX which is ONLY a digital projector, so the only possible explanation other than crippling stupidity is that their computer system was fucked and they loaded the wrong movie initially and it wouldn't let them load another or something. Those projectors are typically "Press one button to make movie start", so it's really hard to fuck up otherwise.

Third time's the -oh wait, no, not the charm.

Okay Hollywood, new rule: No more movies with the word "Guardians" in the title. You done fucked up enough...

Looks like movies need to start following the same rules game names need.

This happened to me in Turnersville, NJ. They said that there was a children's matinee of Rise of the Gaurdians earlier in they day, and they mixed up the reels or something. They offered us a free ticket or free admission to a showing later in the day. Some people were pissed at the one free ticket and got them to give us two. Now I get to see it today with a friend for free!

J Tyran:
It wouldn't have been so bad if they dint keep insisting on putting the audience through the trailers are previews each time, I mean 15 mins worth over and over.

That's what I was thinking. I'd say that after the first time, the theater should have just started with the movie and no previews. But after the second time, that's the least they could do. To make them watch the previews a THIRD time is just bad business. Guardians of the Galaxy has a good 15 minutes of previews itself. That's an hour of previews to watch a two hour movie.

Yeah, someone should probably be fired over this. At least the theater tried to make it right with some promotional material and free tickets.

I remember that time families with little kids went to see Madagascar 3, and instead they saw the first 5 minutes Paranormal Activity 4. Which from my understanding is a scene of a corpse hurtling at the screen.

I would flip the fuck out if this happened to me in the theater.

I live in a quite small town (around 150-200k people) and we have a Mall where I usually go and watch movies there (pretty much the only place) and this has never happened to me. If it did I would definitely ask for my money back or get into a screening with the actual movie that I want to watch.

It sucks when the theater torrents the wrong movie... *eyeroll*

How do you do that? Is it really that hard to keep your movies in order?

(Still, Rise of the Guardians is a pretty good movie, so I wouldn't mind... after a bit.)

"Third time's the char- Oh noooo!"

Now that's just funny, sucks for the movie goers though.

Oly J:
it hadn't even occurred to me that this could happen, the fact that theatres still have Rise of the Guardians to show is surprising, that came out on DVD forever ago

When I worked security for AMC theaters in my area there were hard drives in the back for movies that had been released more than 2 years ago.

I had something like this happen when I was watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban at the cinema. Most of the way through the film, it had borked up for whatever reason, so they decided to just start the film again as opposed to forwarding it to where it stopped.

Imagine going to see Deep Impact and Deep Throat starts up...

Or Angel Eyes and The Hills Have Eyes plays lol

When the first Silent Hill movies premiered we had just seen the preview for the Omen remake when the film burned through. We were sent to another theatre and after the same preview the sound cut out for 15 minutes. Good thing the movies didn't start for another 25 minutes -_-

When I saw The Dark Knight there was no sound at all until after the opening bank robbery. Fun times.

I haven't seen anything in a theatre in the last 3 or so years, because I hate 3D. Also, I don't have $20 to waste on seeing another generic action movie wankfest with people I would actively avoid having anything to do with outside the theatre surrounding me with their bullshit during the same movie I could (if I even found something I wanted to see) watch for 1/4th the price or less in a few months.

I never buy food or drinks in a threatre. Ever. I get the business model, and realize they need to charge 600% and up more than anyone with a working brain would pay for the absolute shittiest versions of real candy/popcorn/sweetened brownish icecube slurry but that is THEIR problem. I don't feel the need to support a flawed as fuck business model that they are bending over and taking from studios.

I find myself reminded of a Foxtrot comic strip:

image

And this was from 1998. To think something like this could still happen 16 years later.

Darks63:

Oly J:
it hadn't even occurred to me that this could happen, the fact that theatres still have Rise of the Guardians to show is surprising, that came out on DVD forever ago

When I worked security for AMC theaters in my area there were hard drives in the back for movies that had been released more than 2 years ago.

They like to keep them around in case something wins an award. Many small/medium size films re-open if they win an Oscar and sometimes that can be a decent bit after their original opening. That might be part of the logic behind it. Also sometimes people/ corporate events book out theaters and want to see a specific film, i guess they want a certain buffer of them to hand.

deth2munkies:
So here's the thing, I worked in the projection booth of a movie theater for a year in high school and I know how easily this thing can happen.

EDIT: So it was 3-D IMAX which is ONLY a digital projector, so the only possible explanation other than crippling stupidity is that their computer system was fucked and they loaded the wrong movie initially and it wouldn't let them load another or something. Those projectors are typically "Press one button to make movie start", so it's really hard to fuck up otherwise.

I worked as a projectionist at AMC.(After being demoted from Shift Manager/Supervisor along with 5-6 other colleagues when AMC bought out Kerasotes, because AMC would rather have angry customers wait for the 2 or 3 higher level employees to waltz downstairs from goofing off in the office than have someone everywhere to address the issues immediately.) Everyone has done that mistake at least a few times. We've also programmed the wrong movies to play when we got digital systems. It didn't help we were always being distracted by someone shoving an email we already got in our faces about putting a trailer on a certain movie when we already have the original weekly report that said "put this trailer on this feature."

I've accidentally played Ninja Assassin instead of Fantastic Mr. Fox (AKA the stop-motion movie only old people saw, because it had George Clooney in it) the one time a kid actually was in the audience. That was also back when I was in charge of the cash room and vault and no one briefed me on film swaps that night like they normally did so I was too busy to notice I threaded the wrong movie.

We've also gave funny nicknames to prints, even managers that outranked me did it, but we always made sure it was obvious what the prints actually were. I don't think that practice ever resulting in the wrong one playing, at least while I was there.

The thing about that 3D Imax system, though, is it really is a POS (not referring to a point of sale but it looked like one). It's running Win XP with a custom touch screen front-end (That blows, I hated building on that thing.), won't link up to any other system to sync with the other projectors' schedules, has IMAX people logging in remotely to do 10 minute tests that are LOUD and prevent the movie from starting when we have a film scheduled to play within those 10 minutes, and if it froze you couldn't even control the fader volume (Remember those tests? Yeah, with them logged in over us, we couldn't turn them down so the audience could unplug their ears.) Also, it was the fourth digital cinema interface to learn, with maybe 4 people in the building being competent enough to do more then press play and adjust the volume. It did let you add you own pictures in to represent prints, so I usually loaded pictures like Adam West Batman for Dark Knight Rises or a Xenomorph and Ridley Scott starring at you for Prometheus.

Darks63:

Oly J:
it hadn't even occurred to me that this could happen, the fact that theatres still have Rise of the Guardians to show is surprising, that came out on DVD forever ago

When I worked security for AMC theaters in my area there were hard drives in the back for movies that had been released more than 2 years ago.

I can vouch for that. Two years seems extreme, but doesn't really surprise me considering how disorganized AMC and film distributors' communications were when I worked there.

Sometimes Fedex/UPS would come in with a ticket so ship back a film drive we just got and still had at least 2 weeks of shows scheduled.[1] Many times the distributors wouldn't get UPS to come pick up old drives for months. They also wouldn't send us the new license keys (which unlock a film for a certain date range on a certain projector's serial number) when a film was booked long in advance, so I had to call them and light a fire under their ass to be able to play something Friday morning and beyond.

[1] If we lost that drive and the server took a dump, that movie would be stuck on the projector(s) it was loaded on, and I'd have a hard time hammering that concept into management's heads that they gave UPS back a drive too early and with the server down, it's stuck where it is.

Hairless Mammoth:

deth2munkies:
So here's the thing, I worked in the projection booth of a movie theater for a year in high school and I know how easily this thing can happen.

EDIT: So it was 3-D IMAX which is ONLY a digital projector, so the only possible explanation other than crippling stupidity is that their computer system was fucked and they loaded the wrong movie initially and it wouldn't let them load another or something. Those projectors are typically "Press one button to make movie start", so it's really hard to fuck up otherwise.

I worked as a projectionist at AMC.(After being demoted from Shift Manager/Supervisor along with 5-6 other colleagues when AMC bought out Kerasotes, because AMC would rather have angry customers wait for the 2 or 3 higher level employees to waltz downstairs from goofing off in the office than have someone everywhere to address the issues immediately.) Everyone has done that mistake at least a few times. We've also programmed the wrong movies to play when we got digital systems. It didn't help we were always being distracted by someone shoving an email we already got in our faces about putting a trailer on a certain movie when we already have the original weekly report that said "put this trailer on this feature."

I've accidentally played Ninja Assassin instead of Fantastic Mr. Fox (AKA the stop-motion movie only old people saw, because it had George Clooney in it) the one time a kid actually was in the audience. That was also back when I was in charge of the cash room and vault and no one briefed me on film swaps that night like they normally did so I was too busy to notice I threaded the wrong movie.

We've also gave funny nicknames to prints, even managers that outranked me did it, but we always made sure it was obvious what the prints actually were. I don't think that practice ever resulting in the wrong one playing, at least while I was there.

The thing about that 3D Imax system, though, is it really is a POS (not referring to a point of sale but it looked like one). It's running Win XP with a custom touch screen front-end (That blows, I hated building on that thing.), won't link up to any other system to sync with the other projectors' schedules, has IMAX people logging in remotely to do 10 minute tests that are LOUD and prevent the movie from starting when we have a film scheduled to play within those 10 minutes, and if it froze you couldn't even control the fader volume (Remember those tests? Yeah, with them logged in over us, we couldn't turn them down so the audience could unplug their ears.) Also, it was the fourth digital cinema interface to learn, with maybe 4 people in the building being competent enough to do more then press play and adjust the volume. It did let you add you own pictures in to represent prints, so I usually loaded pictures like Adam West Batman for Dark Knight Rises or a Xenomorph and Ridley Scott starring at you for Prometheus.

See I never had to deal with that for very long. I worked for 2 summers then a winter while I was home from college, we didn't get a 3-D IMAX until that last winter. That was in 2007-8, and from what you're describing, it's the same damn machine. Luckily, we had a good guy in charge of the digital projectors so my job was mostly pressing start on those and dealing with the actual film projectors. My worst fuckup was brainwrapping Marley and Me and everything went to hell RIGHT as the dog died in the movie. People were pissed and it took me and my assistant manager like 20+ minutes to get everything back on right. I also threaded a movie with the sound strip facing the wrong way more than once...never fucked up a digital one that hard though.

I had a similar experience, but it wasn't at an IMAX screen.

The movie was supposed to be Skyfall, but the movie they started playing was Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 2. Fortunately the cinema handled the issue much better. Once they realised that the were showing the wrong film they appologised and put on the correct film, after skipping over the preivews/ads.

The explanation that I heard was a scheduling error. The projectionist reported that they had received a different schedule to the one that everyone else was using and that they played the movie that their schedule had listed. I would have thought that they would have all been reading their schedule from the same database, but if there is any manual handling of the schedule given to the projectionist I can believe that things will go wrong sometimes, and it was handled correctly in this case.

My question is are there legal obligations on the part of the cinema to the advertisers or movie distributors regarding skipping the pre-show program? Are there contracts in place with various parties that require particular advertisements be shown before a particular film? If so, this may explain why the cinema in the article was reluctant to skip straight to the movie.

If it happened to me I wouldn't be too bothered... except for the freaking previews. They are already too bloody long, but an hour of the damn things? I'd flip my lid.

deth2munkies:
See I never had to deal with that for very long. I worked for 2 summers then a winter while I was home from college, we didn't get a 3-D IMAX until that last winter. That was in 2007-8, and from what you're describing, it's the same damn machine. Luckily, we had a good guy in charge of the digital projectors so my job was mostly pressing start on those and dealing with the actual film projectors. My worst fuckup was brainwrapping Marley and Me and everything went to hell RIGHT as the dog died in the movie. People were pissed and it took me and my assistant manager like 20+ minutes to get everything back on right. I also threaded a movie with the sound strip facing the wrong way more than once...never fucked up a digital one that hard though.

We had a guy in charge of all projection, until threats of all extraneous management jobs like the maintenance manager's and his being axed force him to resign, become a drone like us and go back to school. Then it was up to whoever working at the time to try and get managers to send email, look up info online, get license keys, and order bulbs(which, being budget priced, loved to go out prematurely, one even exploded 100 hours after the warranty was up when the Christie bulbs Kerasotes bought could go 7000 hours past warranty before being useless). Then it slowly went down to just me and one other guy to program the system Wednesdays and Thursdays and be there cleaning auditoriums on the weekend it case something asploded.

I've dealt with wraps, too. Can't say I miss those but did enjoy them better than having customers give me the stare down while they fixed something upstairs. I've at least caught myself flipping the sound strip around, but my framing sometimes was off to far to adjust since no one replaced the framing lamps in years on a few projectors.

The digital ones are hard to fuck up one you got the cues right, keys loaded, and test play them for a couple minutes. But, the projectors and computers are self-fucking. Plus, management didn't listen to us when moving prints around on the computer, so projectors with permanent 3D lenses that needed 3D cues for both 2D and 3D movies were trying to play in 2D and not working, the 2 projector systems that differentiated 2D and 3D was playing a 2D film in 3D and looking funny, etc. So, I at least had plenty to do. :)

Scrumpmonkey:

Darks63:

Oly J:
it hadn't even occurred to me that this could happen, the fact that theatres still have Rise of the Guardians to show is surprising, that came out on DVD forever ago

When I worked security for AMC theaters in my area there were hard drives in the back for movies that had been released more than 2 years ago.

They like to keep them around in case something wins an award. Many small/medium size films re-open if they win an Oscar and sometimes that can be a decent bit after their original opening. That might be part of the logic behind it. Also sometimes people/ corporate events book out theaters and want to see a specific film, i guess they want a certain buffer of them to hand.

I know we held on to some drives for a couple months for the Academy Awards every year, but it was so cheap to ship drives around we usually didn't keep anything past its original booking and got the drives shipped back for special re-openings. I don't think the distributors trusted us with 35mm prints for more that a couple weeks without showing them, so we didn't have extras of those lying around waiting for an award show. I do remember rebuilding old, scratched, torn up prints for private groups and this summer kid's movie program we used to do.

I don't get why the theater in the article had Rise of the Guardians(Who would pay to rent out a theater for that?), but I could imagine the guy who named it just "Guardians" and the genius who did not check what CPL(movie file) was on that SPL(playlist) before showing it a third time are now in some trouble.

Troll level maxed right there.

you know the more stories from people that work there i read the more it looks like a bad horror b-movie than an actual profession. i always though how can somone in management be that incompetent and not be bancrupt. No wonder they are trying to ban anything that isnt showing through them.

Meanwhile, earlier that day a theatre full of kids were probably traumatized as the oddly colored "Easter Bunny's" pet tree...

Once is an accident. Twice is coincidence. Three times is an enemy action.

J Tyran:
It wouldn't have been so bad if they dint keep insisting on putting the audience through the trailers are previews each time, I mean 15 mins worth over and over.

I'm unsure of how the digital projectors work, but the film projectors don't have any fast-forward feature, the film has to be loaded from the beginning only unless one wants to potentially damage the film itself or the projector (which is super-fucking expensive). Since the previews are hard-cut onto the beginning of the film, there's no way to avoid them.
Possibly the digital projectors are locked into the same idea, no fast-forward because there's really no call for it since restarting the movie isn't something common enough to warrant it. I could be wrong though, but having worked in a theater and around the projectors there, there definitely didn't seem to be any way of skipping forward.

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