Regal Cinemas in Richmond, VA and Turnersville, NJ accidentally showed fans the 2012 animated flick Rise Of The Guardians instead of the highly-anticipated Marvel blockbuster. And not surprisingly, some fans quickly took to Twitter to express their disappointment.
When they play Rise of the Guardians instead of Guardians of the Galaxy at the movie theater #Outrage
— Jackson Nell (@jaxonell) August 1, 2014
Oh god. They restarted it all, and after a couple repeat previews, it’s Rise of the Guardians AGAIN.
— Ben (@Peaugh) August 1, 2014
— Dean Browell (@dbrowell) August 1, 2014
Dean Browell, author of the above tweet, told Hollywood Reporter that the Virginia Regal showed Rise Of The Guardians instead of Guardians Of The Galaxy three separate times. After the first mishap, audience members had to sit through another 15 minutes of previews, only to once again see the opening scenes of the 2012 animated flick.
The theater then offered fans tickets to a later show, but Browell and his daughter did not want to stay out that late, so they stuck with the original theater. After another 15 minutes of previews, the projector once again displayed Rise Of The Guardians instead of Guardians Of The Galaxy, which led to much cursing from the crowd.
“It was now 9:15 p.m., from an 8 p.m. movie,” Browell said of the Guardians Of The Galaxy mix-up. “Those left in the theater stormed out and then joined a line 50-people long trying to get their money back, anything. We were so disappointed.”
Thankfully, this story had a happy ending. The Browells (and presumably other theater-goers with similar experiences) received tickets to a later show, along with a cute Twitter apology from Regal Cinemas.
— Regal Cinemas (@RegalMovies) August 1, 2014
But fans are still wondering exactly how these two Regal theaters confused Guardians Of The Galaxy with Rise Of The Guardians. A source told Variety that the two Regal Cinemas in question had been running a children’s matinee series over the summer , which would explain how a two-year-old film ended up on the current servers.
CinemaBlend theorized that someone at those Regal theaters accidentally labeled the digital file of Rise Of The Guardians as just Guardians. So when the person responsible for uploading Guardians Of The Galaxy onto the server saw the Guardians file, he or she may have assumed the Marvel flick was already in the system. But a Gizmodo reader who currently works as a Regal manager had a more detailed theory:
“Someone chose the wrong Guardians because they weren’t paying enough attention… all the files are very long and contain more than enough info to recognize them — because there are so many files, a search has to be done,” user jedibugs wrote. “Someone just did a search for ‘Guardians’ and dragged the first thing they saw in the results to the playlist, I think.
“So, then the whole thing gets allocated to the Auditorium … Allocation sets that playlist into the schedule and downloads all the content in the playlist from the Central Library to the individual projector. It is likely the allocation process that caused the repeated errors.
“Likely, when they discovered the error, they went and swapped out the guardians file from the playlist with the correct one. … But, as we’ve already established that this particular theater doesn’t know their digital system very well, they clearly forgot to reallocate the file, so the projector essentially didn’t refresh the playlist in it’s [sic] system.”