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Star Wars Prequels Media Movies

Playing Hooky to Watch Star Wars 108

Ant sent us an amusing little story that guesstimates how many people will skip work to watch Star Wars this May. I'll be at LinuxExpo. If we don't have some sort of organized Star-Wars-Event at the Expo, I'll probably simply combust.
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Playing Hooky to Watch Star Wars

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  • What a worthless "estimate". You have to assume that Jurasic Park:Lost World has the exact same draw as Star Wars (I'd think it has less), that every person who goes to see it will take the full day off (rationale here?), and that they represent the average American worker (think as many low wage earners will be taking off as, say, well paid programmers?).

    What a bunch of bullox.
  • I thought that the Expo was just being "set up" on the 19th and 20th, and the real fun began on Friday. That way everyone could see it at home and then head down to Raleigh. Or am I mistaken?
  • This is something that will get us all out of our houses. Anything that can get so many nerds to go outdoors has to be exceptional.
  • I had to wait until a 12:55 am showing to see the Matrix...and THAT sold out a few minutes after I got my ticket (about 9:45 pm).

    So you know Episode I's gonna be hell for at least the first 2 weeks.

  • I know I won't be at work! I've already booked off a vacation day!

    I tried convincing the bosses that it was a religious holiday. But they didn't bite. Darn.
  • heh, I already got the day off May 19th. I requested it a month ago in anticipation of this craziness. Remember, the early bird gets w0rms!
  • Posted by Bastard Operator From Hell:

    My cool ass company is organizing an outing for lunch. And the Austin Powers movie.

    There not as cool to pay for it, but that's all I ask for.

    Hopefully the lines won't be long and we'lll have a sectretary to wait for our tickets, or one of the code monkeys.

  • Posted by dhickman:

    I plan on watching the rush hour show. I just checked last night ( TheMatrix) and the local AMC is going to open their call in line at 6:00am. I am going to order the tickets that way.

    ( Now I just hope I can get a seat)
  • Posted by stodge:

    Sad sad sad. it's only a bloody film. I'm going to wait until the crowds start thinning out. Hell I tried to see the Matrix last night, but the whole place was just so busy, there were no parking spaces.
  • Turned mine in middle of November.
  • Uptown Theatre, Washington DC. 50 years old. They tried to turn it into a multiplex a few years back but the people protested and they didn't. Go to your local newsstand and pick up a Washington Post for showtimes, or call 202.555.1212 and get the phone number. I don't know the address of the theater but if you take the Metro to the Cleveland Park station you will see the theatre. They have equipped this theater with a DolbyDigital sound system. There's probably something closer to you, but downtown DC is a nice place to visit as well.
  • As much of a fan as I am, I think I'll wait a couple of days.

    Kinda want to avoid the initial weirdo night. Don't want to have a conversation with a wookie.

  • Did you look at how these stats were computed? They took the estimated number of people who went to Jurassic Park during it's opening (Jurassic park also had very wide release and McDonald's hype behind it) and then mutliplied that by 46% (apparently the percentage of the population that is employed full time --man, I didn't realize it was that low).

    That statistic therefore assume that NONE of the full time employees will even consider the fact that they supposed to be at work as a factor when deciding when to go see the movie. How ludicrous is that? At least they could have looked at demographics for absenteeism during Jurassic Park, or better still phone polled around.

    The worst part is that this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Now that this story is making the rounds, people are going to have the attitude of, "that's a great idea, and since everyone else is doing it...."
  • The "e" went out to see The Matrix.
  • As the article points out, the figure is almost certainly inflated since most showings are in the evening. I also suspect that opening day crowds for Star Wars will be disproportionately students, who won't be missing work at all, but missing their valuable education (class hours missed... now that would be an interesting estimate).

    Finally, "lost productivity" is a misleading figure. If people miss work, they will either not be paid or they will take sick days or vacation days they would have used some other time. So the loss in productivity is offset by lower pay or increase in productivity at a later time. While there will likely be some loss in profits for certain businesses who lose a critical mass of workers, $264 million is clearly too large a figure.
  • I don't want to miss the weirdo night. One buddy of mine has been working on some awesome Clone Wars armor for about 6 months. It's as good or better than the Storm Trooper armor I've seen online.
  • Let's see...

    $133.20/day x 5days/week = $666.00/week
    $666.00/week x 52weeks/year = $34,632/year

    Maybe a little high, but $30K seems about right... If I remember right, for people >= BS is about $48K
    Not entry level, but you do get raises every once in a while, even 2% a year adds up after 20 years...
    Remember minimum wage gets you about $10K/year... and even McDs pays more than minimum.
    For computer geeks employed full-time? $30K entry-level doesn't even buy you the time of day.
    In silicon valley, it doesn't even buy time...

  • Yeah, I plan to grow rapidly when I retire. Either that or I am going to grow retired rapidly.
  • Yep you're mistaken. Wednesday the 19th is a tutorial day and the rest of the conference runs
    Thursday thru Saturday...
    I hope the Expo gets their act together and pulls this Star Wars off!
  • I plan on taking the 19th off, and possibly the 18th if i think that the lines will be a problem. And I'll be seeing it with Altus, who said he's also taking off to see it (and driving back up to MA to boot!)

  • or camp out, I know people who are doing it. In fact, I will probably join them. (just don't want to skip final exams...)
  • soma, what book was that from, I forget. (it was good though)
  • all of my finals are over by the 15th!

    Now I can camp out for tickets.
  • it is rumored (but probably not true) that the IMAX will get it here in Missouri (Branson, about an hour drive from where I live) which would absolutely be the coolest movie event ever. Even though it wasn't filmed in 70mm imax format, it is still a huge screen for regular moves, not to mention iirc 25Kw of sound!
  • Even if I don't take off work to watch Star Wars, I could always take off for another reason. See, they obviously like me, since they're releasing Star Wars on my birthday. What a hell of a present!
  • Don't want to have a conversation with a wookie.

    Oh come on, isnt that the fun of going to opening night shows? I sat next to Yoda during the playing of The Empire Strikes back, and Darth Vader during Return of the Jedi :-)

    Stan "Myconid" Brinkerhoff
  • I've heard at least one major Silly Valley company is giving everyone the day off. They figure everyone's gonna call in sick anyway.
  • Can't skip.... must not skip.... have final exams... must wait until Saturday... AHH!! NOO!!
  • If a person takes a day off from work using vacation leave, then I don't understand how this equals lost productivity. Isn't leave time already factored into a person's productivity level? If a person becomes "sick", well, this is not anything new. The practice of taking a day of sick leave to do something else (for instance, to go to City Hall to cheer on a victorious sport team, go golfing) has been around for a long time. If the PHB's haven't factored this into their thinking, then they are delusional.

    My boss won't care if I disappear to go see this movie. Fortunately he judges my productivity by the work that actually gets done, not by the number of hours I sit at my desk.

    And the answer to the important question is yes, I am.
  • Declare May 19th a national holidy!


  • I was still in University when SW was rereleased. Several of us actually got the prof to cancel class so we could go down to the theatre and get tickets for the show. I plan to petition for the same thing this time around (altho this time I am in the position just to leave work and tell them whatever :)
  • Ok, so if we assume that this many people will see it on the first day, and then we assume that X percent of those people work full-time, and then we assume that those people get paid a certain amount of money each, and we assume that none of these people do the logical thing and go see it after work....

    ... then we'd have an equation that meant absolutely NOTHING, because all of the numbers in it are just made up!!

    Honestly. Sheesh.

    Leilah (going at night, thank you.)

  • Besides the concerns that others have raised here about the validity of this firm's 'statistical methods' (I'll bet any professional statistician would be embarassed to death to be connected with their methods), the entire tone of their pronouncement reminds me of what rubs me the wrong way about Corporate America these days.

    The entire idea seems to be that act of employment means that the employee's entire life to be lived at the employer's pleasure... that any time spent away from work represents 'lost productivity'. What a crock of shinola!!! Sorry, I was under the misguided impression that if you have personal days or vacation days, what you do with them is up to YOU.

    I wonder if this excrement for brains outfit has ever done a study on EXTRA productivity gained when technology workers put in nutty hours trying to complete almost impossible projects on insane deadlines and stupid budgets, orignally proposed by moronic bosses... nahh, thought not...
  • Too bad it was for the 21st, unless you had a gut feeling Lucas'd move the date up to the 19th...

    Of course, maybe you just expected to be waiting in the line for the whole week, and so you're all good...
  • by cody ( 11975 )
    based upon stories like these, it is my estimate that the phantom menace will earn hundreds upon hundreds of dollars at the box office.

    Cody-- []

  • I'm skipping out 4 hours early today so I can go watch the Matrix. Hope it lives up to it's commercials.
  • I went, best movie I've ever seen. Really awesome. It had a solid plot (and somewhat original), lots of action, great effects, and was funny. This movie is the best. The trailer for PM did look pretty good but I'm not a Star Wars cultist. I liked all the trailers they showed at the begining of the Matrix actually. They all look like they will be good movies. Oddly enough I find it hard to explain the plot of The Matrix to people who asked. All I can tell them is to go watch.
  • I think for my sanities sake, I'll wait untill it has been out for awhile, so that I don't have to wait in "disneylandesque" lines.

    I just feel "Ooky" when the lines are longer than the movie. hehehe

    --Jason Bell
  • That is one reason why I buy my concert tickets online. You may not get the best seat in the house, but at least you don't have to wait.

    I have too many things to do with my life to spend too long in a line. I barely get enough time with my wife and daughter as it is.

    Don't get me wrong, I respect the fact that there are people who thing that experience is worth it, it's just not for me. --Jason Bell

    --Jason Bell
  • Oh yeah, June is winter down there. When I saw x-files school had just let out for summer so it was no problem. Hopefully Phantom will be much better than that one, though it had its moments.
  • I think there will be a lot of kids skipping school along with their parents skipping work.

    Me and about all my friends are skipping school that day to buy tickets. already talked it over with my parents and they're letting me, even writing an excuse.

  • Amen,
    to even suggest that 'Lost World' would have have the draw of SW:TPM is preposterous. I'd have to say their estimate is WAY to low...
  • > One buddy of mine has been working on some > awesome Clone Wars armor for about 6 months. Hmm...I wonder if there are any places that sell Wookie Fursuits? :-)
  • >One buddy of mine has been working on some
    >awesome Clone Wars armor for about 6 months.

    Hmm...I wonder if there are any places that sell Wookie Fursuits? :-)

  • Where I work [], we've declared May 19, 1999 a holiday. We're all going to the first show we can get tickets to that day.

    How did we get management to agree? Well, I'm part of the management team, and the other managers are big Star Wars geeks, so it was instantly a done deal.

    Don't send me resumes yet. :-) Let us get some of our VC money first.. :-)

    CTO, ClearLogic, Inc.

  • I've had the request in for time off since December (damn that Lucas, moving the release date forward cost me dearly in "favors" rescheduling my time off).. The article estimates that Star Wars will draw the same amount as Lost World.. I think a better judge would be Independence Day.

  • I probably _could_ take the 19th off, my workplace is pretty flexible about this stuff, but do I want to? Part of me wants to see the movie as soon as I possibly can ... and part of me wonders how many children will be attending the afternoon shows ...

    I wonder if any of our local (Calgary) theatres will be having a midnight showing ...?
  • The day they announced when Star Wars, episode I was opening I asked for the day off from work.. I've since had to change it.. :( But.. I plan on lining up for tickets.. :) Ted
  • and we assume that none of these people do the logical thing and go see it after work....

    It's not that they can't see it after work, it's that no one will be able to get tickets unless they go at like 10:00am to line up for when the ticket office opens at noon.
  • I'd like to see the butt they pulled those numbers out of. Still, with a boss as cool as mine, I'm probably going to be one of the people in line Wednesday. =)
  • It get's released on a thursday out here in Oz (June 3rd). That has to be the one day of the week I have a full day of classes :-(. I skipped High School to see the X-Files when it came out but now i'm thinking it's not worth the trouble, I'll just see it at night when I get home. Just so long as I see it on the first day, dosn't matter what time of day :-)
  • I just got back from playing hooky for The Matrix (My daughter got suddenly ill!) - Holy Tamoles! is all I can say after that movie - and I suspect I'll do the same for Star Wars. If my company counted up the amount I put in vs. the amount I take out in terms of hours, mind-time, or anything else, they'd come out way ahead.

    Jason Dufair
    "Those who know don't have the words to tell
  • Actually, the article mentioned Lost World, not the original (yeah right, "Jurassic Park II, Electric Bugaloo") Which I believe took in lower receipts then JPI.

    Agree wholeheartedly with you regarding 46%, ouch. But Challenger then makes the mistake of using $133.20 as a multiplier... (a) that's average daily wage -- It doesn't take all day to see a movie, and (b) Higher wage earners, like lawyers, doctors, etc. are less likely to skip out than John Q. cashier.. (OK, I'm completely guessing about this, but it doesn't look like Challenger too this into account at all.)

    Just do what my company did: sponser an event so everyone can go :) Hmmm, which client do I bill that to. . .

  • Brave New World
    By Aldous Huxley

    "Take a holiday from reality whenever you like, and come back without so much as a headache or a mythology"

    "One cubic centimetre cures ten gloomy sentiments"

  • I don't work Tuesdays, so I'll be camping outisde the theater to get tickets (since LucasArts said tickets will not be allowed to go on sale until the 19th.) And on Wednesdays I work starting from noon to 11PM, so I think I'll get tickets for the last showing of the night, and suddenly come down with something..... at about 8PM.

    Of course, with any luck, I'll be working for a hot new internet startup by then (Interview on Tuesday!)

  • Hmmm.... keep in mind that 46% of the *total* population is employed, not 46% of *adults*. If you consider children and the rapidly growing retired demographic, there's not a lot of people left in the middle. The employment rate is actually a lot better than 46%.
  • Plus, we've had it on the calendar for over a months as a "department day off". Does it count if your boss is in on it?

    Sure, it probably seems obsessive - especially to the under-20 crowd on this page. But I'm a geek, I was born in the early 70's (I barely remember the release of SW), and I consider myself fortunate to have been alive at a time when I can still appreciate what made the first film special.

    Sometimes, it's worthwhile to make the choice not to be jaded.

  • This film is not just a movie, it's a cultural experience. Calling it just a movie is like calling a Shakespearian play, just a play. You will of course believe this is hyperbole, but for people who love a good story it is the truth.

    It is a modern classic, which unfortunately is so very rare these days.
  • Well I know for sure that many schools' semesters will be over for May 19. But for the business' I agree, although a few people will want to skip out to the theater during business hours to be able to beat the rush.
  • and me both. and a bunch of friends of mine from work. and another friend of mine who's company was going to rent a theater for the day, until, of course, they (meaning the movie promoters) decided that that wasn't kosher and cancelled that sort of thing.

    i WILL be there the first day. oh yes, she will be mine.
  • It's my birthday too!
  • ... I'll be either calling in sick, or taking a vacation day to see Star Wars... And I won't be lining up a month early like those crazy people at countingdown, but myself and friends are planning to take turns waiting for atleast a day or two...
  • To me, the logical thing to do is arrange a vacation day. Which I did. : )
  • Funny, I was just having a conversation with somebody about this. A friend of mine was interviewing for a job yesterday, and he was being interviewed by the guy he would be replacing. At the end of the interview, my friend asked the guy why he was quitting.

    "Do you really want to know?" the guy said. My friend insisted.

    "I'm going to go wait in line for the Star Wars movie."

    Now THAT is devotion. It's also why I'm going to wait for the weekend.
  • I just told him "I'm going to see StarWars, whatever day it opens, I'm gone". He just shrugged and said OK
  • Here's my estimate of how many people will ditch work on the 19 to see star wars.

    Take the number of screens its going to be showing on during workhours, multiplied times the average number of seats in a theater. Subtract 80% of the number of people that dont have jobs. The rest will be workers, plus some that skipped work hoping that they could get some last minute tickets.

    Why would anyone compare the number of people watching star wars with something like the lost world? Even thogth alot of people are going to wait until evening or a couple days after, there will definately be enough fanatics to pack the theaters.
  • My boss is closing our office at lunch so we can all go. I am volunteering to go wait in line for tickets and skip the whole day :)
  • Oh, please don't deny yourself this experience! I plan to bathe myself in the ambience of Star Wars and go as soon as it opens. I won't be in costume myself, but checking everyone else out is at least half the fun.

    Saw a really good Boba Fett (right height and everything) when I caught the premier of Star Wars Special...
  • If you look at how they came up with the
    numbers, they assume a work day lost
    to be = $133.20 Thats over $16 an hour...
    I don't think that is an accurate picture
    of the average full time employee...

    If your throw CEO's and everyone into the
    pot, maybe, but look at the target audience
    of SW... It's geeks like us and kids...
    (same group that went to see JP..)

    Just my feelings...
  • Sorry, I couldn't resist. :)
  • Sorry, I didn't explain this enough. I have an "in" to get the tickets through work (we're the parent company of a theater chain) and the three hours was just to walk over, watch the movie and walk back.

  • I already proposed to my boss the reasons why we should all take a "long lunch" that day and he couldn't find fault with my proposal.

    Everyone will either call in sick (thereby losing a whole day of work) or be pissed that they couldn't go. So losing the three hours for 10 people in the office to go see it (and paying for the movie too) is actually less damaging on the business and a great moral boost. The biggest winner is that it makes him points with the tech. guys and he's not just a "suit" anymore - he's one of the "guys".

  • Hey, happy birthday...

    Mine too... :o)

    I'm guess Lucas really likes Taurus, huh? :o)
  • Just this last wednesday, The Matrix was to open for my area. I had planned on skipping school to go see it. Instead I just went to school. Maybe if i got the money i'll skip school to see new star wars flick. But seriously people, isn't a days education worth more than the next movie of the century? Well.. it seems every year a movie is labeled "Movie of the century." I just hope this movie makes more than Titanic will ever.

    - PRM
  • I can tell why you posted as an anonymous coward, besides, it's not just a movie...
  • If people are disappointed with TPM, it'll be their own stinking fault, because the only people who will be disappointed are the SW ubergeeks who've spent the last months soaking up every single bit of information in existence about the prequels. Don't get me wrong - I'm salivating at the thought of a new SW movie, but I don't know any of the "spoiler" info because I would like to actually *enjoy* the movie.

    BTW, The Matrix was very cool (but it wasn't the life-defining geek-fantasy that some have found it to be). There may be plans to make a trilogy out of it, from what I've heard.
  • Boss says I can't have May 19th off.
    Boss said this to 24 other IS people so far.

    Boss will be lonely May 19th.
    "Responsibility for my career? I'm just a freakin' phone monkey!"
  • Hey, I have some armor, too! I made arrangements last fall to skip school while I show off my Mandalorian armor all day on weirdo day.
  • I was really psyched when I heard "May 21'st", because all of my finals are on the 19'th and 20'th. And then Lucas moved the damn thing back two days =(
    Hmm...GPA or movie? GPA or movie? Can't...decide...

    (Yeah, yeah, I'll go see it on the 21'st, but dammit, missing opening night pisses me off :P)
  • It should be "Hookey".
  • I remember seeing the original Star Wars in 1977 on one of those humongus screen theaters in the pre-megaplex era. Frank Capra (a Caltech alum!) also treated us nerds-in-training to a pre-showing of TESB on the huge screen at Caltech's Beckman Auditorium. Now the new SW cries out for a big screen but stuck here in Boston I can only find little postage stamp screens in theaters where you have to listen to all the sound effects in the next movie over. I have asked all over but no one seems to know if there are any big screens left. An early 20th century hall with late 20th century equipment would be ideal. Willing to do a road trip for this!
  • Chicken...;)

    (no offense)
  • Playing Hooky to watch starwars in a capacity cinema how fun, i mean we're all gonna end having it forced down our throut whether we like it or not for the next 30 years so what dif is one day gonna make. Well thats my two cents.
  • Gotta agree with you there. I'm a big fan and love the movies and all.. but find it just not me to get dressed up as my favorite character to go see it. That's what RHPS is for }:>

    There's that fine line between being a fan, and being a fanatic.
  • Why skip work, other than for the enjoyment of skipping work? Don't most feature films start in the evening anyway?

Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein