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Discussion in 'Movies' started by Jake Lipson, Nov 2, 2017.
Thanks for the heads up, Jake! Got mine for the same night at 7 pm.
This is pretty cool.
I just found this video on Will Smith's official YouTube channel, which was actually posted a few weeks ago back on April 4. It shows Smith surprising Mena Massoud (Aladdin) and Naomi Scott (Jasmine) with their action figures from the new movie:
Also, just a reminder that tomorrow is the publication day for this beauty. My copy is currently in the mail to me from Amazon.
I noticed something today I hadn't realized before.
I used Cinemark.com to buy my ticket today, just because I think they have a smoother checkout process than Fandango does. I wasn't expecting Aladdin to generate anything like Endgame traffic in terms of advance tickets, and indeed it didn't. However, I remembered that last month when buying my Endgame ticket, I sailed through that process on Cinemark.com while Fandango was causing people problems, and I decided to stick with what worked. It also makes sense to me to buy it directly from the theater and cut out the middleman in Fandango.
My total purchase price was $15.98, including the premium auditorium evening priced ticket, service fee, and taxes.
Then I noticed that at Fandango, if I bought a ticket for the exact same showtime in the exact same auditorium, my cost would have been $16.33.
Fandango's service fee is $2.20 per ticket, whereas Cinemark's service fee is $1.70 per ticket, plus I think there's additional tax at Fandango too as a result of the higher price.
Essentially I saved myself 43 cents by buying from Cinemark rather than Fandango. And yeah....it's only 43 cents. But still, why pay 43 cents more than you have to if the result is that you're going to be in the same room at the same time no matter where you buy it?
I also got curious to see how well it's been doing locally in terms of presales today and started looking at seating charts for various reserved seating theaters. This is obviously not a complete or in any way scientific study, but there are three Cinemark theaters around here which all have 2D screenings starting at 6pm in their premium auditoriums. And there's the AMC IMAX with same.
Let's call my local theater where I will be seeing it Cinemark A. This screening has sold exactly two tickets. The first one of those two was mine.
We'll call the other two Cinemark theaters B and C. Cinemark B, which has luxury reclining seats, has not yet sold any tickets for their 6pm XD show.
Cinemark C, which is an XD auditorium without reclining seats, has sold 11 tickets so far for their 6:00pm XD show.
The AMC IMAX, which also starts their first show at 6:00pm, has sold ten tickets so far, including five tickets together, which I assume must be a group of people seeing it together. Of course, there's no way of knowing how many of those people paid retail price for the ticket versus using their A-List membership to reserve it, but still.
This indicates that Aladdin isn't really a huge advance priority for a lot of people here, even though all of the theaters I checked are premium auditoriums with reserved seating. A few other theaters have showtimes listed for purchase in normal auditoriums which don't do reserved seating, but since I can't see the seating chart in those, I have no way of knowing how many tickets have been sold there. I'll check again a few days before the movie opens to see how this has changed. Obviously I hope more people will buy more closer to the date of the screening. For me, this is my most anticipated movie of the year and thee's no way I wouldn't go to the first available premium screening, so I figured I might as well buy it today and lock in my seat location now.
Now, obviously, Aladdin was never going to be a mammoth crash-the-websites pre-seller like Star Wars or Endgame. But I would be fascinated to know how this compares to first day pre-sales for, say, Beauty and the Beast. I don't have that information, and I don't know how I would go about getting it so I'm not going to dwell on it. But I'd love to know it if that were possible.
The only presales I generally know much about are the opening night Dolby screenings at my local AMC. I will often check those because that's normally when I go and I keep an eye on how full the theater is going to be. So far the 6:00 Dolby showing has 20 tickets sold, which is more than what I would have expected at this point.
I did some reading and apparently Disney has a poor track record when it comes to box office for Memorial Day Weekend. Hopefully this will end that streak.
I'm not sure if it's because of Memorial Day necessarily, but since they always put the Marvel film in the first weekend of May (or the end of April the last two years), it seems like they do have a tendency to put the "lesser" films on Memorial Day. Things like Alice Through the Looking Glass, Tomorrowland, Prince of Persia, etc., which lack the want-to-see factor from general audiences that propel the Marvel films. And, of course, there was Solo last year, but we've all gone over that enough.
I'm not really optimistic about Aladdin breaking that streak at this point because Disney has not been doing a very good job of marketing it, as I've mentioned several times in this thread. I certainly hope I am wrong, but I am bracing for this one to underperform. And if it does, Disney will deserve what it got for botching the campaign.
Two more tickets sold at my screening for a running total of four.
Aladdin will almost certainly have much bigger box office than Dumbo and Mary Poppins, but still I think it's likely to be closer to those movies than to Endgame. But I'm looking forward to it. I'll probably by an IMAX 3 D seat for it in a couple of weeks.
Looks like that last tv spot posted here definitively confirms that the sentient magic carpet is indeed in the film.
Fandango has a really good new interview with Mena Massoud:
The IMAX release for this film is bizarre. Viewers who see "Avengers: Endgame" in IMAX 3D are treated to the 3D trailer for the film. (They have substituted a different film entirely for 2D IMAX showings of Avengers.) However, when the film is released in IMAX in the coming weeks, it will be exclusively in IMAX 2D in the U.S.
What's the point of forcing IMAX to show a 3D trailer for a movie that you're then not allowing them to show in 3D?
I live in the U.S. and my local AMC is selling tickets for IMAX 3D shows at 10am and 10pm. The rest of the shows are 2D. So it definitely is getting a 3D IMAX release in the U.S., though the scale of it is unclear.
Hmmm, ok, I stand corrected on that point. None of the four NYC IMAX theaters have a single 3D showtime listed, but that could be a regional decision. It would otherwise be strange for them to promote it in a format that they're not actually releasing it in.
Agreed. You'd also think that one of yours would do it in 3D since you have actual true IMAX theaters there; mine is just one of those smallish AMC multiplex ones, so I'm sure if they think people here want to see it in 3D on IMAX, the appeal would be higher in a place with a genuine IMAX theater like you have.
Obviously, what they should do is split showtimes between 2D and 3D on all releases, or in cases where there are multiple IMAX locations in a single city, they could each do a different format. When IMAX was preferring 3D exclusively at the expense of 2D, I didn't understand it, and now that they've (mostly) swung in the other direction, I don't understand that either. It should be easy to give everybody what they want without alienating half of your potential audience.
Of course, my only IMAX here is at the AMC I am boycotting due to their unsatisfactory wheelchair seating, so I'll never go there again anyway, but I see the showtimes listed at Fandango with the other theaters that I check.
It looks like for IMAX 3-D, United Artists Sheepshead Bay is the easiest option for you, but I know that's a long train ride.
The movie wasn’t a huge priority for me; if my wife wants to see it, I’ll defer to her screening preference (which probably means closer theater vs more bells and whistles).
But I kinda wish there was a rule like, “we won’t show the trailer for version A if we only intend on playing version B in our auditorium.”
To add to the strangeness (at least for me), there is exactly one AMC within 10 miles of me playing Aladdin on the Thursday preview night: two Dolby showings and two Real D 3D showings. Closest IMAX is 20 miles or so from me during opening weekend. I opted for the Dolby screening since that was the best time for me on a Thursday night...especially with a movie over 2 hours long.
There was some kind of delay yesterday with my copy of the making-of book, which I hope will be in today's mail. So I can't comment on that yet.
But the following new images come via the Walt Disney Records Facebook page. (Yes, seriously, they're posting these pictures on the page dedicated to their music label without announcing the soundtrack. It's just driving me nuts at this point.)
The only showtimes that are on sale yet at my local theater are the premium-priced XD showtimes., which is just the name of Cinemark's premium brand and has nothing to do with whether it's 2D or 3D. Both of the showings on Thursday night are 2D.
The ones for opening night are 6:00pm (which is what I bought) and 9:15pm following that, both in 2D. Beginning on the Friday, May 24, it will be in XD 2D at 10am, 4:30pm, 7:30pm and 10:40pm and in XD 3D at 1:10pm.
There are no tickets available yet for regular non-premium screenings in any format. This is weird because when Avengers or Star Wars tickets went on sale, they had all of the available formats to choose from. They might not have all the showtimes if they're going to book it on more than a couple screens, but they usually have the XD and the at least one screen's worth of regular showtimes booked upfront. I assume they are going to show Aladdin in regular formats as well so I'm not sure why none of those showtimes are reflected yet. For me, I was always going to go to the first 2D showtime in the premium auditorium, so I have exactly what I want. But it is strange that they haven't booked anything standard yet; Presumably those will be finalized during the week leading up to release.
FINALLY...the soundtrack is available for pre-order on Amazon.
Release date is next Friday, May 10, so that's a super quick turnaround.
Interestingly, this is listed as one disc with a price of (currently) $13.95. The remake of Beauty and the Beast got a single-disc version with just the songs and a separate two-disc deluxe version. The two-disc version added exclusive Alan Menken demo tracks, plus the second disc was the instrumental underscore. I was hoping Aladdin would get the same treatment, but it doesn't look like it, or if it does, that listing is not up yet.
It would be nice if Walt Disney Records would make an official announcement about this with the track list and such. If I find one, I'll post that here.
The making-of book did come in the mail today and I've been reading through it tonight.
Here's a handful of things that jumped out at me so far:
1) The artwork in this book is jaw-dropping. This isn't a surprise, but still worth mentioning. If you are as big of an Aladdin fan as I am, you're going to want this. The level of detail that went into creating the movie is on full display here and it's really impressive.
But they didn't skimp on the text either; there are interview quotes with the cast, as well as a lot of people involved in making the film, including the set designer, costume designer, casting director, prop master, and behind-the-scenes crew like that. Guy Ritchie wrote the introduction and talked about what attracted him to doing the movie. It's not just promotional in nature; it really feels like an in-depth document of the process of making the film. It's really well-written by Emily Zelmer.
However, I noticed that Raja the tiger is spelled as such in the book. In the animated film, he has an H on the end, "Rajah." So that's different. Not a complaint; just an observation.
2) I'm not going to be specific here because details could be considered a spoiler. However, there is going to be some new story material for the Genie in the film that does not exist in the animated film. There's a brief description of this in the art book, like a sentence or two, so I don't know a lot about it (and don't want to know anymore before the film comes out), but I was fairly stunned -- in a good way -- and really intrigued by it when I read it. It's going to allow Smith to have something in the movie that is entirely his own, which I think is a very smart move and will separate his version of the character from what Robin Williams did. We'll put a pin in this discussion for now and come back to it after the film opens because I'm sure it will generate discussion.
There is also new backstory for Jafar which the book mentions.
3) Some people online got fussy over the casting of Billy Magnussen as Prince Anders because Magnussen is white. He is one of the princes who is seeking to marry Jasmine. However, the book makes clear that he is a foreigner in Agrabah and does not live in that part of the world. So it is entirely appropriate for him to be white, because the fact that he doesn't fit in there is part of the point they were trying to make with that character. Based on what they say about him in the book, it seems clear that he is not intended to be the same character as Prince Achmed who Jasmine rejects in the animated film.
4) Jasmine's new solo song is called "Speechless" and was inspired by Jafar's line in the original film, "You're speechless I see, a fine quality in a wife." Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who wrote the lyrics for the new song, also substantially rewrote the lyrics for Arabian Nights, which is now twice as long as in the original animated film. The change in lyrics was necessitated by a change in the story which I won't mention here until after the film comes out, but it's explained in the book why they did it in the book and it makes sense to me.
I've heard that there are going to be two new songs in the film, but the book only mentions Speechless, so if there is another one, we'll find out when the track list for the soundtrack is revealed. Either that will come by Disney announcing it or, if they don't, I'll post the track list when I get the CD on May 10. I have no plans to actually listen to the CD until after seeing the film, but I know I'm going to want it as soon as I get home after the movie, so I felt comfortable placing my pre-order today.
6) There's a chapter about casting, with focus on Aladdin, Jasmine, Jafar, the Sultan, Genie, Prince Anders, and Dalia, Jasmine's handmaiden who is new for this film. This chapter does not have anything about casting Alan Tyduk as Iago. Coupled with the fact that Iago has not spoken in any of the marketing for the film, I'm beginning to think that he might have been cast extremely recently. Since it is entirely a voice role, they wouldn't have needed him on set and therefore had longer to find him.
Emily Zelmer, the author of the making-of book, responded to a question from me on Twitter and she confirmed that it was written last year and was completed before Alan Tudyk was cast.
7) They wanted to shoot in Morocco but couldn't do it for logistical reasons, so they built Agrabah from scratch and filmed on sets in London, though lots of Moroccan influence is still there because they brought props and visual inspirations back from there. They also filmed some of the sand dune stuff in Jordan, including the scene at the entrance of the Cave of Wonders.
More tomorrow as I go through more of the book.
Just saw the most recent trailer and this looks like a complete disaster.
Hope I’m wrong.