I rarely -- if ever -- mention my job on my blogs. It's just not a good idea to mix business and pleasure in that way, because if I were to be noticed talking about my job online, then all of a sudden I'd be obliged to conduct myself in a manner 100% befitting my professional requirements. And, like, fuck that. I'm at work, that's work time; I'm away from work, that's ME time.
However, the odds of anybody noticing are rather minimal, and even if they did, I'm not likely to then also be recognized by a customer. I got better odds of getting struck by lightning than I do of being recognized for my blogs. What a silly thought!
Anyways, I figure it makes sense to err on the side of caution, so I just don't bring it up. This is not difficult to do; I have virtually no interest in talking about work when I'm not there.
This week, though, I'm going to break my rule and divulge to you that I am a manager of a movie theatre. Not the general manager, mind you; if my boss is Picard, I'm Riker, except with a lamer beard and even fatter. So, yeah, I'm the Riker of a movie theatre.
I bring that up because I simply can't restrain myself from talking about how utterly cool it has been to be a massive Stephen King fan and to go to work all weekend and see people lining up by the hundreds to see a movie based on a Stephen King novel. At my particular theatre, it did stronger business than most superhero movies; it did stronger business than Rogue One; it did stronger business than Pixar movies. Shows were selling out hours in advance, and by the end of the night on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday (the latter unprecedented during September) people were still showing up by the dozens at the very end of the night, once there were literally no seats left to be sold for that movie on any of its several screens.
I've seen that happen with Twilights and with Hunger Gameses and with Fifty Shades of Greys and with American Sniper and so forth, and until this weekend I never realized that in the back of my mind, the King fan in me was jealous of those other movies' successes. Don't misunderstand; given that this is my profession, I'm always hopeful that EVERY movie will be that big a hit. Few are, but trust me, I never mind when they are even if they are movies I personally would like to ignore.
This weekend, though, I realized that It was scratching an itch I'd not even realized I had: an urge to see my Stephen King fandom validated in my own workplace. No King film had been a hit during my management tenure since 1408, and that one was only a mild hit; people went to see it, but nobody cared about it, so far as I could tell. With It, you could sense immediately -- show began on Thursday night and were busy from jump -- that this was a movie people were excited to see. They weren't coming to the theatre out of a sense of obligation, or because it was the weekend and they had to go see something (those days appear to be over for 95% of the public, if not more). They were acting like ... like ...
Well, they were acting a bit like people in line for a roller coaster. This was an experience, not a mere movie. They came by the hundreds per hour, and they were of all colors, ages, sizes; they were evenly split in gender. There were an untold number of kids not old enough to vault over the R rating, and some of them got older people to buy 'em tickets, and some of them -- most of them (possibly numbering in the thousands, and no, I'm not exaggerating that) -- failed. They looked brokenhearted to be missing out on it; no, I'm not exaggerating that, either.
I have seen a weekend's worth of audiences that was both larger and more excited; but not many. This will rank as one of the most enthusiastic audiences I've personally ever been around in the movie business; they were laughing and excited on the way in, and they were laughing and excited on the way out.
It was really, really cool. It always is.
Add on top of that that they were there to see a movie based on one of my five favorite novels (one written by my absolute favorite author), and it translated to me having a much better weekend personally than I might otherwise have had. A weekend's business like that can sometimes be sort of oppressive, like a grim march to a too-distant finish line. Get me to Monday, get me to Monday, get me to Monday..., like that. This can especially be true if a movie is a smash hit and you weren't expecting it to be. Luckily, we were, so the effects we felt were minimal. I would all but guarantee you that many of the nation's theatres got caught flat-footed by it, especially after the past few weeks have been so dreadful at the box office.
But yeah, we saw it coming, and we were more or less prepared. Even so, it was a show of It basically ever 45 minutes, so the lines were nonstop, from Thursday at 7pm to Sunday at 11pm, with respites while we closed and for maybe the first half-dozen shows of the day. Otherwise? Non-fuckin'-stop.
Despite this, I was in a thoroughly cheerful mood. I was wearing this:
Nobody recognized it except one of my fellow managers, who just shook his head at me as if to indicate he was disappointed in what a nerd I was. I am guilty as charged, and the fact that I was in a good mood while all around me swirled a sea of people who wanted tickets and/or popcorn without further delay indicates to me that it was a pretty good weekend to be the type of nerd I am.
So yeah, that's where this review will be coming from. From the guy who was happy to be swamped at work not merely because it was good for business, but because the hordes of customers were there to see something I really cared about.