Midnight premieres are more than just a movie


Izzy Peterson

Fans wait anxiously at The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug midnight premiere

by Olivia Goldstein, Editor

Crazy costumes. Late night. Long lines. Popcorn. That can only mean one thing: midnight premieres. And where there are midnight premieres, there is bound to be mischief and excitement.

In the past few years, movie history has been made because of the fans that attend midnight showings worldwide. According to Forbes, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 is the current record holder at 43.5 million raked in at the midnight premiere alone. The Dark Night Rises brought in an impressive 30.6 million, and Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 2 is a close third with 30.4 million. Despite its popularity, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire only brought in 25.5 million its opening night, coming in 6th on the list.

I attended the Thursday night showing at 9:30 for Catching Fire and was disappointed to find that there were no crazy lines or costumes like there were at Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

The Harry Potter premiere was an experience like no other. Fans had been lined up and camped out for hours. People were dressed in anything from t-shirts with their favorite character to costume as their favorite character. The atmosphere was hectic but made us feel welcome. In fact a girl dressed as Harry Potter and a young man with a Voldemort mask jumped up on the fountain at Regal Westview, and started “dueling,” while shouting spells and curses. This riled up the crowd making us even more excited for the film.

“I prefer midnight showings for the people and the atmosphere of all the fans coming together to enjoy what we’ve all been waiting for, for so long for,” Lauren Knowlden, a Hunger Games fan, said.

Some people may argue that there is no point in waiting for hours just to see a movie when a fan can just go the opening day or the following week.

“I attend midnight premieres, not because I want to be the first to see whatever movie it may be, but because waiting outside all night in anticipation for a certain movie creates a much better memory than simply getting to a theater and walking straight in on a Saturday afternoon like every other fan,” Savannah Malnar, a Hobbit fan, said.

Though there is nothing better than connecting with people who obsess over a favorite book series, there is nothing worse than the “fake fan.”  This refers to the people who attend midnight showings but haven’t read the books and are far too vocal with their opinions.

“When I went to the premiere of The Hunger Games, a couple of fans started yelling out things like ‘TEAM PEETA!’ or ‘TEAM GALE!’ Just wasn’t necessary,” Malnar said.

With “fake fans” aside most everyone at premiers is friendly and have no problem talking about the book or movie. Fandoms at midnight showings resemble saving a place in line while you run to the bathroom, sharing their popcorn, and openly joking and chatting about most anything.

“Last year I went to the midnight premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey with my friend and we brought coffee and shared it with the others in line. We got there a whole three or so hours early and it was really fun to sit in line while chatting with the others waiting too,” junior Izzy Peterson said.

Midnight premieres are quite literally a once in a lifetime opportunity. They are more than just seeing a film, they are about the experience and how it can be shared with others.