About Movie Premieres

By Cheryl A. Frost ; Updated September 15, 2017

Movie premieres are like "coming out" parties for new films and can be just as exciting as the movies themselves. New movie releases produced by big Hollywood brands or independent filmmakers may instigate premiere events for the purpose of hyping up movies and hopefully pulling in a wider audience. Hollywood premieres typically promote movies that are based on a successful novel, stars big name celebrities or is a sequel to a former box office hit.

There is no set criteria for launching a movie premiere event, but the movie will almost always have some kind of significance to either the producer or the fans. Independent film makers often have movie premieres for their first movie releases or their first movie releases of significance (i.e. new special affects, first foreign film, first film with a big celebrity). Regardless of the reasons, movie premieres are effective tools of promotion.

Identification

The word "premiere" indicates the first performance or introduction of anything that is about to become public. Movie premieres are the first showings of movies that promise great success. All movies have first showings, of course. Yet, when the media talks about movie premieres, they are talking about promotional events, not merely the midnight showing at your local theater. Movie premieres usually require preregistration or, in some cases, invitations. The movies will be something that has been marketed for a while and will have significance to the viewers such as a base from a best-selling novel or a cast full of famous performers. Movie premieres can be exclusive showings for registered fans, or they can be showings that are preceded by an opening party. The most celebrated movie premieres are red carpet events. These include the movie's cast as part of the audience.

Do not confuse movie premieres with movie screenings, which are private test screenings of unedited films. Movie premieres are not dress rehearsals. They are the real deal, everything the public expects, but they have a little more flair.

Types

There are two types of movie premieres: General first-showing movie premieres and red carpet Hollywood premieres. Red carpet events in Hollywood are exclusively for the cast and crew of a film and are by invitation only. Friends and family of the crew attend as do select members of the press. Fans stand outside the theaters to get a glimpse of their favorite actors, but the fans are not allowed admittance. General movie premieres can be at any large theater. They are fan-oriented, and although celebrities may appear at the events, the fans and celebrities do not typically share the viewing experience.

History

The first major Hollywood premiere occurred in 1922 in Hollywood's Egyptian Theater. It was during the grand opening of the Egyptian themed theater and showed the premiere of the silent film, "Robin Hood." The event was large and flashy, a great success. This premiere was followed by many others. Yet, twenty years later, by the threat of World War II, Hollywood premieres were banned. They resumed after the war, and these premieres were more elaborate and festive than ever.

Significance

The significance of a movie premier is the movie's grand entrance. If you've ever waited for a movie to come out, you might have been disappointed to discover that it had reached the theaters and disappeared with very little notice. Movies that are experimental--good ideas with uncertain outcomes--tend to be advertised, released and moved along without much hype. Movie producers are less willing to spend extra time and money on premieres unless the potential for success is high. Movie premieres are like a final bit of advertising to secure the popularity of a movie and to ensure that everyone knows of its importance. For independent outfits, premieres mark the introduction of a new producer, new film or new style of film making.

Function

Movie premieres have four major functions. The first and most important is marketing. Movies that cost a lot to produce must be successful, so a big premiere is a last attempt to reach as large an audience as possible. Premiere parties and showing events are typically publicized, allowing viewers worldwide to see just how popular the movie is.

Another function of a premiere is to measure the success of the movie. Producers, directors, writers, and actors observe the reactions of the audience to see if line delivery came out right or if special effects were worth the effort.

A third function of a movie premiere is word-of-mouth advertising. The organizers of a movie premiere work hard to make sure the paying audience is thoroughly entertained. They want these viewers to tell the world what a great movie it is. Even if a movie is not that great, the viewer might still think it is if he or she has had a truly positive experience at the event.

The last major function of a premiere is to collect a fan base. The parties and big events are exciting to the fans. Having premieres keeps the fans involved and attracts more fans. The more fans you have for one movie, the more you will have for the next.

Misconceptions

If you look up information about movie premieres, you will often get information about screenings instead. Screenings, as stated earlier, are raw showings of a movie that help producers improve or maintain it long before the final release. They are rough drafts, so to speak. Keep this in mind when seeking tickets for premieres. Note that it is very difficult and expensive to get tickets to a red carpet premiere, one to which celebrities attend. To attend one of these, your best bet is a high quality entertainment service like Onpoint Events. Be sure to specify that you want to attend a premiere and not a screening.

About the Author

Cheryl A. Frost earned a Bachelor of Arts in writing and linguistics from Georgia Southern University with a focus on technical communications. She has served as a technical writer for 10 years, specializing in IT infrastructure, security and networking. Her recreational interests include robotics, computer programming, and general technology.