ABC News

How the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Midnight Screening Went Horribly Wrong

Aug 1, 2014  •  Post A Comment

Movie goers who turned out last night to be among the first to see one of the summer’s most hotly anticipated movies, “Guardians of the Galaxy,” came away disappointed at a number of theaters as they reportedly rolled the wrong movie.

ABC News reports that the problem became apparent once theater patrons had already sat through a round of previews. Audience members began tweeting the unpleasant news, and it soon became apparent that it was happening at multiple theaters.

One tweet reads: “omg they started playing rise of the guardians instead of guardians of the galaxy EVERYONE IN THE THEATRE IS CRYING”

“Then it happened again … and again, apparently in more than one location, judging by the tweets,” ABC News reports. “Regal Cinemas, the theater chain cited in some tweets, did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for an explanation or other comment.”

Instead of the Marvel comics-inspired “Guardians of the Galaxy,” expected to be one of this summer’s biggest blockbusters, the theaters rolled the 2012 Dreamworks animated movie “Rise of the Guardians,” which features Jack Frost, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny battling the Boogeyman.

“Here’s the synopsis of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ from the Marvel film’s official website: ‘Brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe,'” the story reports. “Different movie, see?”

In at least some theaters, a second attempt, and even a third, was made to show the right movie, with the same results each time. The Twitter users responded in kind, for example:

“Oh god. They restarted it all, and after a couple repeat previews, it’s Rise of the Guardians AGAIN.”

And: “YOU HAD ONE JOB. (Then it happened AGAIN.) @RegalMovies #rva #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy”

After a third failed attempt at one theater, a disappointed movie goer tweeted: “THIRD TIME FAIL#GuardiansOfTheGalaxy became #riseoftheguardians AGAIN. Ruined evening complete. #rva @RegalMovies”

For what it’s worth, the theaters reportedly gave out refunds after the fiasco.

rise of the guardians-2012 movie-title

The wrong movie


  1. Movie chains are known to be as dumb as a box of rocks. I once stood in line to see the premiere of a Star Trek film and they cancelled the screening because someone’s PC went down and no one knew how to sell tickets without a computer.

  2. Spare the poor SOB’s at the actual theaters. There’s incompetence at a much higher level at work here. Those local cinemas didn’t have prints of a two year old movie just sitting around, it was sent to them. Now, what the minimum-wage excuse for a projectionist thought was going to be any different by restarting the same bloody print three times, I haven’t a clue. Personally, I’m surprised this film is so “highly anticipated”. I think it looks like big CGI turd.

  3. This seems to be a really bizarre problem. Unless they have a digital copy of RISE OF THE GUARDIANS stored in their playback system, this can’t happen. The films are shipped on hard drives that are plugged into a playback console. Once the film has completed its run, it has to be shipped back to the film distributor.

    Even worse the films are distributed by two different companies. The fact that it seems to only have occurred at one chain of theaters is also troubling. DreamWorks films are not going to be shipped by Disney’s distribution arm. Which calls into question HOW Regal got these copies OR why they still had copies of a two year old film.

  4. From what I’ve read elsewhere, these Regal theatres have kids matinees. That’s why they had a copy of “Rise of the Guardians” in addition to “Guardians of the Galaxy”. The problem was that they were both marked “GUARDIANS”. Still, it should have not happened. And just getting a refund is NOT enough.

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