Earlier today news came out that the first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens would make its theatrical debut this coming Friday, as some sort of screening event. It wasn’t long before a full list of theaters was rolled out, all of which will be screening the trailer later this week. That list is:
AZ PHOENIX HARKINS TEMPE MARKETPLACE
CA LOS ANGELES AMC CENTURY CITY
CA LOS ANGELES Indep EL CAPITAN
CA IRVINE REGAL SPECTRUM IRVINE 21
CA SAN FRANCISCO AMC METERON 16
CA SAN JOSE CINEMARK OAKRIDGE 20
CA SAN DIEGO REGAL MIRA MESA 18
CAN TORONTO CPX YOUNGE & DUNDAS
CAN VANCOUVER CPX RIVERPORT
CO DENVER AMC WESTMINSTER 24
DC WASH D.C AMC TYSONS CORNER 16
FL MIAMI CARMIKE PARISIAN 20
GA ATLANTA REGAL ATLANTIC STATION
IL CHICAGO REGAL CITY NORTH
MA BOSTON AMC BOSTON COMMONS 19
MI DETROIT CINEMARK SHOWCASE 20
MN MINNEAPOLIS AMC SOUTHDALE
MO KANSAS CITY AMC STUDIO 30
NY NEW YORK AMC LINCOLN SQUARE 12
NY NEW YORK REGAL UNION SQAURE
OH CLEVELAND CINEMARK CINEMARK 24
PA PHILADELPHIA REGAL WARRINGTON 22
TN NASHVILLE CARMIKE THOROUGHBRED 20
TN KNOXVILLE REGAL PINNACLE
TX DALLAS CINEMARK PLANO 20
TX HOSTON REGAL MARQ*E STADIUM 23
TX AUSTIN ALAMO ALAMO S LAMAR
UT SALT LAKE CITY CINEMARK CINEMARK 24 WJ
WA SEATTLE REGAL THORNTON PLACE 14
WI MILWAUKEE MARCUS BROOKFIELD 16
In case you didn’t feel like counting, that’s 30 theaters, spread across 28 cities in North America. Which– considering The Force Awakens will likely be, like, the biggest movie of all time– seems really small and scopic, especially coming from a mega corporation like Disney.
I have the utmost confidence that the trailer will hit the net shortly after the first few in-theater phone videos leak, but even so, this entire stunt seems disappointingly small and exclusionary to me. Star Wars is a global phenomenon… most of this franchise has been filmed overseas, even… yet the only non-US theaters on that list are a pair in Canada.
Yes, we will all certainly be able to say we saw the trailer a week from now, once it’s online. But it seems kind of stupid and mean spirited to limit those of us who have the ability to experience the big screen debut of this trailer on Friday. Quite frankly, Star Wars needs all the goodwill it can muster if Episode VII is going to be well received enough to sway public opinion about the still-ailing franchise. And going the “cool kids” controlled environment, limited theater debut route just seems like a bad idea, the kind that can hurt feeling and piss off countless more fans than the few lucky enough to attend the screenings simply by virtue of proxy to the theaters in question.
Maybe I’d have a different opinion of all this if any of the theaters were in any kind of reasonable distance to me, but I tend to think I’d still feel like this is a shitty move, even if I managed to find my way into a theater playing the trailer.
Either way, as it stands now, what’s got two thumbs and won’t be seeing The Force Awakens trailer on the big screen?