February 23rd, 2017.
So for the third time in as many premieres for their movies, the diversified multimedia behemoth that is Disney (2015 Revenues : $US52billion) decided not to have a premiere for one of their movies. First it was Doctor Strange last year, which to be fair was from one of their minor studios called MARVEL, that had a screening without a premiere. The second was an obscure entry into the little known STAR WARS FRANCHISE called "Rogue One", so no harm no foul there. And now for the third time, the little struggling studio is re-making their own public domain appropriation of well known fairy tales in live action form with BEAUTY and the BEAST.
To be fair, when the event was listed as a 'Launch' and the venue as 'Central London - Embargoed', it made sense to presume Disney didn't want me, or fans in general to be at the Odeon Leicester Square, hoping for something to go down.
Here's what went down:
So basically, the main reason I stayed where I was in spite of the evidence that the screening had started, and that nobody would be coming, and that they'd closed the doors of the Odeon, was that therewere still professional photographers inside, who while few in number, were still at their posts. Clearly they were convinced it was worth staying, and since they get paid for their work, they were backing their money with their time. In other words, if they weren't moving, I wasn't moving.
And, amazingly, at 7:30pm, there was movement from behind the screening room doors.
So... that was that. I came away with something, but I also came away with having seen yet another event that showcased the huge gulf between the multibillion dollar all-encompassing business side of Disney and the part where they actually want to celebrate their releases with fans. To clarify, I'm not for one moment saying Disney *owes* fans a premiere. It doesn't. But if it's flying everyone to London, putting them up at hotels, driving them to cinemas to introduce the movie, and having them photographed in the foyer.... but STILL NOT having a premiere, then it seems very clear that the one ingredient that Disney does not want to have access to what's going on is anyone who is non-paying, non-competition-winning, non-blogging, and not directly-promoting, person with no benefit to Disney.
So if you're not helping to fuel that, then you're not really welcome**.
But hey, I'm just some whiny guy. I got a couple of photos for my Archive of Movie Premieres. I didn't lose out too much.
Until next time!!
** final thoughts : it's very hard to write something opinionated, at length, at close to midnight, when I've been up since 5am, and knowing I have to be up at 5am again tomorrow. The only way I can do it is because I care : not (just) about premieres, but about movies. I watched over 1 movie per day last year (!) and am more or less on track to do it again. I love film, and being able to take photographs at premieres is an amazing thing I get to do. And/but when I see a company the size of DISNEY, with their power and their wealth and their all-encompassing cultural ownership, kind of shrug at fans because the accountants are counting the thousands of dollars of cost among the BILLIONS of dollars in revenue that the company makes, it reinforces to me the suspicion that the divide between the Art of Film and the Business of Show is growing very much wider. And that's not a good thing. Rant out. Peace.