By any measure, this weekend's showings of The Twilight Saga: New Moon are already a big event. Fans all over have packed movie houses and camped out to be first in line to see the second installment in the bloodsucking series. In fact, online ticket seller Fandango has already reported selling out more than 1000 midnight shows last night.
How big could it get? The first film took in nearly $70 million in its opening weekend, and some insiders think New Moon's first weekend could top $100 million. If you want to go, you might want to book in advance, because you might otherwise be redirected into a showing of something with no vampires at all.
Unfortunately, when it's this crowded, even if you're lucky enough to have a ticket, that doesn't guarantee a smooth moviegoing experience. With this potential for insanity in mind, I sought some advice from film and TV writer Mark Jordan Legan on how to handle the chaos inside the theater.
1. To optimize your seating, arrive early and make nice with the staff. Often, if the line is long, there's a mad rush for seats when the doors actually open. Legan says that if you can, you might try to curry favor with an usher. Maybe you can teach him some hilarious New Moon limerick you've created in your spare time, and "Boom, he might open the other door for you." Maybe even better, you could get a heads-up right before the side door to the theater opens.
2. Run back and straight to the middle as quickly as you can. Legan says that most people are like bad drivers on the freeway who hold up everyone else around them. Avoid them by heading straight for the center middle and staking out ground there. If necessary, feel free to go into a row and start climbing over the seats. The last thing you want is to be stuck in the front row, and you should do whatever it takes -- within reason, of course -- to avoid that outcome.
Shushing and texting, after the jump.
3. Be civil but forceful when asking people to slide over to free up a pair of seats. Legan acknowledges that this can be tricky, since some people act like you're asking them to "pick up an entire picnic they have on the ground in front of them." Don't be swayed by their reluctance: what's a minor inconvenience for them makes all the difference in your moviegoing experience.
4. Forget shushing. Shushing can evoke "library or Catholic school memories" for your neighbors in the theater, leading to nasty flashbacks and a negative reaction, says Legan. You need to verbalize -- if you're feeling timid, maybe make your companion the bad guy. "My friend here finds your talking very annoying" is a phrase that works well in this instance, provided your friend is willing to have the popcorn directed at his head instead of yours.
5. No texting. Seriously, no texting. Yes, your cell phone may be silenced, but that doesn't mean that huge glowing light isn't annoying people in your row and other rows, and probably your own companion, who is in the best position to kick you, after all. Current theater etiquette requires you to both lower your voice and keep your light emissions to a minimum.
To hear the advice Legan gave me about taking my wife to New Moon this weekend, check out the latest What Would Rob Do? podcast below.
'New Moon' Etiquette: How To Attend A Packed Show Like A Pro