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"Way to go with the keen observiness, Jessica Fletcher."
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September 30 2005

Theater Report on Serenity in Boston from our friends on the boards over at

Anyone else seen Serenity today and give us a little insight on the crowd?

I have to wait till Monday to see Serenity because I'm making my every-other-weekend visit to my moms this weekend and she only goes to the movies like two times a year. That really sucks being a Browncoat. Don't worry though. I'll get my two showings per person minimum.
I'm taking my mother either tomorrow or Sunday even though she doesn't go to the movies either...

My wife and I went to the first show locally, at 1:15. There were 45-50 people there, which my wife said was remarkable at that time. She'd been there before for Friday matinees, and there were never more that 10.

The movie itself was fantastic, better than I'd honestly expected. I was afraid that the year-long build-up would make it very hard to appreciate the movie as much, but I couldn't have been happier with the result.
I also went to the first show in my area (Pioneer Valley, MA), a 1:10 matinee. It too was very well attended for the time. The crowd was SILENT when the movie ended, and stayed that way through the credits, after which they finally began to leave. Some very stunned Browncoats...

[ edited by thatfangirl on 2005-10-01 00:49 ]
Here in Bakersfield, where I was totally afraid of being the only one in the theater, at the 10:50am showing, I was shocked that the theater was half full... unfortunately they're only showing serenity on the medium screens. I can't complain though.
Damn, I wish my daughter hadn't had school today - I would've loved to have seen it earlier. Instead, we're going to the 9:30 pm show in hopes of avoiding the teeny bopper crowd. That's the latest show we could go to in our area. I'm hoping we get a crowd who is serious about seeing the movie and will be respectful. Went to The Grudge on it's opening night and the teenagers were so obnoxious with all the talking and screaming that you missed most of the dialogue (which there wasn't much to begin with). I'm really hoping there are a lot of Browncoats here in North Central Massachusetts and will know that there is a special place in Hell for people who speak in the theater!
my partner has to work 12 hour shifts all weekend and thinks he'll be too tired to go tonight... i may have to wait til monday and it's driving me insane ! i'd go without him if he weren't as big a fan as i am, and feel totally disappointed in not sharing the first viewing of it with me. damn !
I went to the first showing: 1pm today in not-quite-rural, not-quite-suburban Texas. There were only about 20 people total in the theatre. That's not so bad for this town during school hours. And there weren't many people going to any of the other movies since the parking lot was only about a quarter full. But there's probably not going to be many people going tonight either. Tonight is Homecoming and Texans luuuv their football. I was planning on seeing it again either tomorrow or Sunday and that will be a better judge of how it's doing around here.
Not quite 20 in upper northwest DC...phlebotinnin and I were were there...she tells me it's a very good turnout for an early matinee on a Friday...said she's been there for much more high profile movies by bigtime directors at similar times, and there's been fewer in attendance.

Wife and I will go see it tomorrow is still richocheting around my brain...
A good turnout of about 50-60 for the 1 p.m. matinee in Long Beach - in fact, they're running Serenity on two screens there, which kinda surprised me. The sound quality wasn't the greatest, but with relatively few people, the dialogue was audible. People seemed to get it. Nearly all of the one-liners got laughs, and there was an appropriately reverential air at the end. Or so I imagined . . . .:)

Off to see it again at the 10:20 tonight with 3 or 4 complete FF ingenus (although one of them is a huge BtVS fan).
Just saw the first non-matinee showing here. Small city and both theaters are showing it. The theater seated about 250 and was nearly full. A fair number of fans in attendance.

What was interesting was that when we were leaving the theater we realized they had changed the showing of the film to a different room. We thought that was quite odd given that it hadn't shown a full day yet, and still had the 9 PM screening to go. Our only guess was that they decided to move it to a bigger theater since earlier showings had done so well.
I went to a 7 p.m. showing in a small TX town of 100,000. There were about 100 people in attendance - so I'm happy. I half expected for there to be about 10 of us.
I went to the 9:30 pm showing at our local theater. There were only about 35 people there, but let me stress that this area isn't heavily populated and the streets were practically empty driving there. Also, tonight is the first game in the Red Sox/Yankees series for the pennant and people are really into their Red Sox. Lucky me I'm more a fan of the Patriots! I would've gone anyway even if I was a Sox fan!
Was at the 12:01am showing Friday morning (Thursday night?) in the Minneapolis area. around 100-150 people there. Exceptional turnout for a very late show on a work/school night.
we went to the 10:10pm showing, yay ! 375 people at a 500 seat theatre, and according to the staff the earlier 8pm-ish show was filled to capacity, yay ! we had a great crowd, lots of laughing and cheering and gasping & a solid round of applause at the end. plus some really good looking boys dressed as browncoats, and me without my camera ! i so need to get a camera-phone. and at least 150 stayed til the very last credit rolled, and were obviously thrilled to hear the ballad of serenity, even if it was just instrumental.
I went to the 9pm movie in Central Illinois, and the theatre was very full. I live in a cool, educated college town, so I was expecting people, but not like this! They actually had to switch to a larger theatre for us. We had to wait 20 minutes to be seated. There were people in brown coats, people with blue sun t-shirts, and people with "I love Inara" t-shirts. It was so fab. When I asked the theatre employee if they were expecting this she just said "We had no idea". priceless.
You should have seen us scoping the patrons for telltale Browncoat signs. Sadly, we didn't see any. Went to a 4:25 showing that was about half full, not bad since people don't really start getting off work until after 5 p.m. or so.

[ edited by Tiny Tabby on 2005-10-01 19:14 ]
Tiny Tabby I've edited your post as it contains spoilers.

And a general reminder to people. Please remember to keep spoilers out of your comments here for the time being, there's still many people who have not seen the movie.

And if you want to post your reviews, Caroline set up this very handy review thread at

Oh and this pic from a screening is truly priceless.
I'm kind of confused, b/c I figured the SF Bay Area was the heart of sci-fi geekdom, but clearly not where I was...

At any rate, it was a pretty good crowd, probably 150-200 (about 20 minutes before the movie I counted around 100 but people kept coming in as the trailers played). 10:25 showing, there were two women in "Joss Whedon is my Master now" t-shirts, but otherwise no one particularly dressed up. Crowd response was ok - the people in front of me were clearly fans and kept laughing, and there were times when you could hear the whole theater chortling, but sometimes the jokes seemed to just fall flat. There was a good round of applause when the credits rolled though. Also, a random person who yelled "this movie sucks!" about 2/3 of the way through...and then probably about 10-20 minutes yelled "still sucks! sucks! sucks! sucks!" and I think walked out. Ooo-k. Clearly not a sentiment shared by the rest of the theater, though.

As for the group with me - ended up with a group of 21, about which 6 or 7 were newbies. The Firefly fans mostly liked it except the ones who said that they think it would have been better as a TV series. The newbies ranged from "it was ok" to "that was pretty good", opinions on the dialogue varied, one did say that it was pretty confusing in the beginning but things more or less fell into place after a while...

And, there was a bit of a line about an hour before the movie, that slowly built. Probably a good 70-80 people waiting by the time they let us in.
Well Teenes, I'd guess that person who kept yelling out "it sucks" had an agenda. People don't normally do that at a movie even if they don't like it. This was probably one of these people who just hates Joss Whedon and figured they'd show up and cause some trouble. A couple people left the theater I was at too, soon into the movie but I suspected that they were drunk and weren't expecting what they were seeing. They were quite loud when they arrived, laughing loudly and even singing at times before and during the previews. I was really worried they were going to be like that throughout the movie but thankfully they did leave early on.

My crowd was mostly quiet too but I think people were just taking it all in. This had to be one of the quietest movies I ever attended but there was a lot of applause at the end. There was some chuckling and some hearty laughs at times but mostly very attentive and trying to catch every bit of dialogue. That's how I felt it was though.

[ edited by Firefly Flanatic on 2005-10-01 10:14 ]
That could have been it, Firefly Flanatic. I do think the crowd was mostly people who knew something about the series, and they could have been being attentive. It was definitely really really quiet through a lot of the movie. And there was a lot of applause at the end. So, you're probably right.

And I'd agree about the guy with the agenda. It was just weird. It was also funny b/c no one reacted in any way. They just stayed quiet and kept paying attention to the movie =).
I went to the first showing in Edmonton at 1:15PM. Good size crowd of about 55 people. Age range varied between a couple of ten year olds to about fifty. The audience was three quarters guys in their thirties. A fair number of Firefly fans as we tended to laugh at different intervals than the general audience. I thoroughly enjoyed the film. Unfortunately, the theatre may have received one of the bad prints; because, the dialogue appeared muffled in the last fifteen minutes.

I was very disappointed with the newspaper's review. The Edmonton Journal used a syndicated review from Canwest. The reviewer, Catherine Monk, only gave the film 2 stars of 5 and she really took the snobby ex-television show approach. So much for the local paper capturing local colour -- considering Nathan Fillion's a proud Edmontonian. :(
Saw the 12:20 showing Thursday night (well Friday morning) at the Dome theater of the Arclight here in LA. It was sold out, or very close to it. Saw some Jayne hats and some Blue Sun shirts, but nothing at the level of the prescreening audience or the people at the Universal FanFest.

Saw it tonight at the Grove on Fairfax in LA...8:30 pm show...also sold out, but it was one of their smaller screens. Took 9 others, of which only two liked Joss, and/or had seen Firefly. All the newbies liked the film, which was a relief to me. Some liked it more than others. One of my friends liked that it was smart and had ideas. Another liked Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk's performances. I got asked some questions about the show, although I don't think they understood my level of fanatacism. The best reaction though, was that my friend's girlfriend cried. I'm not sure at what part of the film, but the idea of someone who doesn't know these characters or this world being moved to tears by the film made me happy. When was the last time an action movie moved anyone to tears? Or a sci-fi one, for that matter? I mean, except for the tears of "oh my God, this sucks" that I cried at The Chronicles of Riddick.

I've seen the film three times now, and the crowds have been progressively less responsive - which makes sense, as I went from a prescreening to a midnight screening to an opening night screening. It was kinda of nice to see it with a less responsive audience, it makes it easier to hear all the dialogue. And they still laughed at all the big laugh moments, and cheered and clapped at all the big cheer moments (well except for one...ion, this is one of my favorite moments in the film). So, a good experience. Seeing it again tomorrow afternoon, hopefully the crowds will still be good. Come on, 20 million!
It's funny teenes, I read your whole entry, thinking, wow, amazing, this person must have been in the same theater as me, until I saw it was you. (I am one of the 21 who she managed to round up for this showing)

I would like to commend her for coming in a browncoat. I was very impressed. I would have worn one, had I had one.

I still think the movie was rough around the edges though. and not especially good through most of it. Like Whedon's early comic book foray fray, he's not fully comfortable with the style, though I fully expect him to figure it out.

Though the movie was redeemed for me when I realized The Operative was cribbing lines from one of my favorite books as a kid, Brave New World, the Mustaffa Mond, creating a utopian world by being the monster.

I still contend it would have made a hell of a 2nd season though. But the pacing was too rushed, overly edited, overly refined, lacking the lazy laidback western attitude and the western music, for me to think it was great. Some great one liners though.

I'm still crossing my fingers for a good box office take though. I came here looking for good signs. Still not sure.

[ edited by Caroline on 2005-10-01 12:13 ]

[ edited by hobs on 2005-10-01 12:24 ]
Hobs, please don't sign your posts, and stick to spelling rules (employ capitalisation on your sentences).
I saw a 12:40a.m. showing with a cousin of mine who had no idea Serenety was a t.v show first, doesn't like Angel or Buffy and has no idea who Joss Whedon is. We had to walk 2 miles to get to a theater that was playing it. We walked along a busy road way with 2 two lanes of traffic in each direction, along the narrow sidewalk were tall weeds briming with nocturnal cretures that would rustle the very near by shrubery and send us running like little school girls. We got to the theater and there were about 20 people total, not bad for that time of night(morning). My cousin loved it, I gave him no prior knowledge of the verse, I wanted to see if the movie would stand alone as a good movie going expierence, and it did. He seemed to like it more than I did. He wants to see it again.

I felt the movie was entertaining but i was really spoiled by the trailers, and t.v. spots, and clips on sci-fi. Nearly every funny one liner I had heard already thus not that funny during the movie. I need to do a better job of not being so aware of this stuff for the (please God )sequal. I also felt the music lacked a kind of broad sonic landscape(yeah I typed that) and didnt do a good enough job to help carry emotional scenes.

I have a brown suede coat, I wore that.

The guy taking my ticket (printed from having ordered it on fandango the day before) asked if I had taken the day off work, yes. Then he asked "For this movie?" Oh yes. For this movie.

And I stayed thru the credits - but then, I always do.

After that viewing I decided I needed to see it again (this after having already seen TWO preview showings), but this time with a crowd. The 8pm show almost sold out - I bought my ticket a couple minutes after 8, and the clerk said that there were only about 20 seats left. The 9:30 showing had already sold out.

And I'm likely seeing it again, *finally* with friends, on Sunday.
Saw the 1:10 showing in the western suburbs of Boston. There were probably about 75 people there which, for the middle of a work day in a business-heavy area, is pretty good. Crowd reaction was quiet, but solid.

Went BACK last night at 7:10 and saw it again with the family (and ran into a former student/friend AND two former co-workers! LOL!). Theater was about 2/3 full, crowd was MUCH louder/more enthusiastic and involved. Really made it more of an experience for me. :-) I will admit that I was fretting ENDLESSLY about the fact that there weren't more people there, much to the annoyance of the folks I was with. However, as we left, there was a HUGE line for the 9:55 showing (and it was like 9:25 at this point!)so that cheered me no end.

Here's hoping that we can break $15M at the box office. *Fingers crossed*

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