Last nigt more than 700 Wolverine fans descended on Harkins Theater at Tempe Marketplace with folding chairs, portable DVD players and coolers full of caffeine-based sustenance to wait it out for tickets to the X-Men Origins: Wolverine premiere on Monday, April 27. As advertised on their web site since earlier this week, Harkins Theaters planned to give away only 250 pairs of tickets to the premiere, but that didn't stop several hundred from waiting in line.
I'm kinda of here for the atmosphere myself. I'm kinda home in this little atmosphere. "I've got a strong strong feeling that I'm nowhere near a ticket, but to be honest, I don't mind this," said Brett James Wellmen one of the people at the very end of the line. "I've got more friends coming. We're gambling big time, but all we're losing is what? Four hours? Five hours of sleep?"
Initially the Harkins Web site asked ticket seekers to show up for the line at 9:00 p.m. last night, but due to the overwhelming number of fans who showed up much earlier than that they let people line up a couple of hours early.
"What we didn't expect is that when we announced that the line up would start a 9:00 p.m. tonight that people would show up at 2:00 in the afternoon," said Bryan Laurel, director of marketing for Harkins Theaters. "We decided to allow the line up early for everyone's safety."
As a result, hundreds of X-Men fans were turned away when they showed up to start waiting in line at 9:00 p.m. much to their disappointment as evidenced by comments on Up on the Sun.
"This was totally not fair at all to the honest people who followed the rules and wanted to line-up at 9:00, but instead get stiffed but the impatient people who got there early," said Chris in an Up on the Sun comment on "Wolverine Tickets: Get In Line Now"
Those that did make it into line waited as much as 17 hours for the 9:00 a.m. giveaway; whiling away the hours with games of D&D on makeshift tables, drawing comic art on sketch pads and even ordering pizza from locations such as "behind Harkins near the electrical box."
By 8:00 a.m. the next morning, the fans that stuck it out were showing signs of fatigue and those in the back were becoming disillusioned with the experience now that they knew they wouldn't receive one of the 250 pairs of tickets. Little did they know what was actually in store for them.
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Abel Casillas was the very first person in line when they released the tickets at 9:00 a.m. He had been waiting for 17 hours but that could do little to curb his enthusiasm upon holding those world premiere tickets in his hands. Two hundred and fifty fans followed before Harkins reps had to make a sad announcement to the next group of fifty: the 250 pairs of tickets were gone.
"But if you show a little emotion and a little excitement, maybe we could so something." A Harkins rep shouted over a magephone. Cheering erupted from the group of Wolverine fans and rightly so as everyone after the initial 250 got single passes to the world premiere.
It looks like X really does mark the spot for Tempe.