back to article Star Wars: Big Euro cinema group can't handle demand for tickets to new flick

Europe's second largest cinema, Cineworld, is struggling to meet demand for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Fans have taken to Twitter to complain of difficulties booking their tickets for its December 14 release. You website is down? Seriously how can you not have the servers ready for a massive movie like this and a surge of …

  1. Chris Jasper

    It is only a film ya know?

    But fair play, Cineworld should have anticipated the extra load.

    1. tmTM

      The same things happens on ticket websites when a popular event is launched.

      Some companies just do not care.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Some companies just do not care.

        Because all those people desperately trying to get tickets RIGHT NOW! are just going to say "you know what? I don't really want to see the new Star Wars movies after all", instead of "oh well... I'll just have to try again tomorrow".

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    spoilerific

    Just watched the trailer and (on first viewing) it looks as though every scene has appeared in a previous film - just different actors doing the acting. Is that what you meant by spoilers?

    1. Rafael #872397
      Go

      Re: spoilerific

      There's a new character that appears to be pasted from the Raving Rabbids games.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: spoilerific

        No, that's the gerbil out of g-force it's part of the Disney Cinematic Universe now, Kermit the Frog's in episode 9 in a role not dissimilar to Yoda, "here, hi-ho, Kermit the frog I am".

        1. djack

          Re: spoilerific

          No, that's the gerbil out of g-force it's part of the Disney Cinematic Universe now, Kermit the Frog's in episode 9 in a role not dissimilar to Yoda, "here, hi-ho, Kermit the frog I am".

          Surely it'd have to be Miss Piggy as Yoda.

      2. Jason Bloomberg
        Coat

        Re: spoilerific

        There's a new character that appears to be pasted from the Raving Rabbids games.

        I watched the trailer because I know I will have forgotten the spoilers by the time I get round to watching it. Which will likely be when I eventually find the DVD in a charity shop.

        Though I am intrigued as to WTF that squawking hamster-come-penguin-come-whatever is. "Merchandising opportunity" I guess.

        Mine's the one with the hole in the pocket. Above the light sabre on the floor.

        1. VinceH

          Re: spoilerific

          "Though I am intrigued as to WTF that squawking hamster-come-penguin-come-whatever is. "Merchandising opportunity" I guess."

          Exactly that, yes. It's something cutesy that all the children will want and pester their parents to buy for them at a stupid price because not only Star Wars but Disney Star Wars. And then there will be a new version that waddles along the floor and squawks if someone is in front of it, at a bargain price of even even more than the stupid price of the previous stupidly priced one, and all the kids will want that.

          Et bloody cetera.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: spoilerific

            Weren't hatchimals last years big toy?

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: spoilerific

            "And then there will be a new version that waddles along the floor and squawks if someone is in front of it, at a bargain price of even even more than the stupid price of the previous stupidly priced one, and all the kids will want that."

            Not forgetting the "A.I. Furbee" version, coming Real Soon Nowtm

    2. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: spoilerific

      "Just watched the trailer and (on first viewing) it looks as though every scene has appeared in a previous film - just different actors doing the acting. Is that what you meant by spoilers?"

      It's not much of a spoiler if that's exactly what you expect to happen in a Star Wars film.

      It would be a spoiler if C3PO got caught in a cupboard with Henry the Hoover. I would NOT be expecting that!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I would NOT be expecting that!

        NOBODY expects C3PO caught in a cupboard with Henry the Hoover!!!

        1. Doctor_Wibble
          Trollface

          Re: I would NOT be expecting that!

          > NOBODY expects C3PO caught in a cupboard with Henry the Hoover!!!

          Seriously? Unless I missed the sarcasm...?

          Or are you the only person in the entire universe who hasn't twigged that Henry is R2 in drag?

          1. the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

            Re: I would NOT be expecting that!

            Or are you the only person in the entire universe who hasn't twigged that Henry is R2 in drag?

            No, that would be Hetty, the one in pink. I've always been curious about her...

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: I would NOT be expecting that!

              "No, that would be Hetty, the one in pink. I've always been curious about her..."

              Apparently, you're not alone in that. Just ask any A&E nurse!

        2. Montreal Sean

          Re: I would NOT be expecting that!

          I hear C3PO really likes it when Henry Hoover uses the beater bar.

      2. Asylum_visitor

        Re: spoilerific

        Thanks for ruining Episode 9 :P

      3. Andy Tunnah

        Re: spoilerific

        And yet, you can almost guarantee someone has already drawn porn of it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: spoilerific

      "it looks as though every scene has appeared in a previous film"

      ... so does that mean my prediction that Han Solo returns (as Han Solo the White) after falling from the Bridge of Khazad Dum in the last film is correct?

    4. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: spoilerific

      it looks as though every scene has appeared in a previous film

      And? It has been a "Rehash for Milking" purposes exercise since episode VI. Step one. Blow a death star. Step 2 blow a bigger death star. Step 3 blow a fecking phenomenally big death star. So what is step 4?

      Rogue one was a breath of fresh air exactly because it was not a milking exercise and it did not aim to leave (nearly) everybody alive for a next episode. It did not stick to "one major casualty" canon which the rest of Star Wars has to do in order to ensure there is continuation. I am not sure I will watch any of the continuations in the main sequence after that. They will frankly look lame.

      1. Doctor_Wibble
        FAIL

        Re: spoilerific

        > Step one. Blow a death star. Step 2 blow a bigger death star. Step 3 blow a fecking phenomenally big death star. So what is step 4?

        You started well but without the 'collect underpants' phase it has no meaning!

        Perhaps that could be Step 4? Better late than never!

        1. Chemical Bob

          Re: So what is step 4?

          Blow a gasket because the ticket website crashed when trying to buy tickets too effing early.

    5. FuzzyWuzzys
      Unhappy

      Re: spoilerific

      Funny you say that, I was doing some work over lunchtime, looked over and a colleague had the preview full screen with headphones and that's exactly what I thought. "Oh, another light sabre fight! Oh another view of an open battlefield with x-wings and tie fighters. Oh another battle in space. Oh another dramatic close up on faces in dark spaces while they talk about the various aspects of the Jedi religion.".

      This from someone who saw the original back in the '70s and the 2 sequels in the '80s. When #7 came out on DVD my wife and daughter bought me the DVD and I've never seen it! It's not that I don't want to, I just can't be bothered to make the time these days. I'll make time for the original trilogy and have done just 2 months ago but I just can't be arsed to make time for 1,2,3,7,8,9 they do nothing for me. 4,5,6 sum up my childhood I suppose. The films for 1,2,3,7,8,9 are for a different generation, they're not for me or mine, they mean very little to me and I cannot make the connection in the same way as I can for 4,5,6.

      Even my wife and daughter whom have no interest in the franchise, have never played with the toys, have no SW collectables, have seen 1,2,3 and 7 at the cinema and I haven't!

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: spoilerific

        When #7 came out on DVD my wife and daughter bought me the DVD and I've never seen it!

        I suggest watching Rogue 1 - it lives up to the expectations of the original 3 before Lucas has fully vandalized them. Compared to it Episode 7 is "Oops I did it again" (pretty much the same artistic value too).

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: spoilerific

        "I'll make time for the original trilogy"

        Why? The special effects were great for the time, but the storyline was pretty mediocre.

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

          Re: "I'll make time for the original trilogy" / Why?

          Nostalgia. Pure and simple. I watched the first one when it came out overe here in Feb 1978, on the big screen, at a very impressionable age, and it was simply two hours of WOW. It's nice to re-live that once in a while, and the prequels and sequels and whatnot can't simply pull that off for me.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: "I'll make time for the original trilogy" / Why?

            "It's nice to re-live that once in a while"

            That's as good a reason as any :-)

          2. wayward4now

            Re: "I'll make time for the original trilogy" / Why?

            "Nostalgia. Pure and simple. I watched the first one when it came out overe here in Feb 1978, on the big screen, at a very impressionable age" ...and dope was $15 a lid.

    6. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge

      Re: spoilerific

      Don't tell me, let me guess.

      Jar Jar Binks is back?

  3. mr_souter_Working

    it's up, but doesn't work

    the site itself is up - but the booking system is not working properly

    looks like they failed to anticipate that some people might be interested in booking tickets.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: it's up, but doesn't work

      Maybe people should just relax a little and realise they still have two months to book their tickets...

      1. Martin Summers Silver badge

        Re: it's up, but doesn't work

        "Maybe people should just relax a little and realise they still have two months to book their tickets..."

        Precisely, it's not like it's a one off event or something. Why would a cinema spend a packet and wipe out what profit they might have from this film spending money on increasing capacity for their booking system,when all it takes is for people to chill and wait for a bit.

        1. awavey

          Re: it's up, but doesn't work

          But it's spoilers isn't it, it isn't like the old days of films anymore where the big plot twist OMG moment gets spoiled just by Homer Simpson walking past the queue,thesedays it will be across all social media/interweb etc etc after the first midnight screening,you'd have to banish yourself to Skellig Michael to miss it till you got to see the film.

          That said I don't recall much difficulty booking a ticket for a lunchtime screening of TFA on release day maybe only week or so before. So yeah overreaction but I can understand why it happened

      2. SkippyBing

        Re: it's up, but doesn't work

        +1 to Loyal Commenter. When episode VII came out I went on a whim the week after release, there were no issues booking tickets less than an hour in advance.

        1. rmason

          Re: it's up, but doesn't work

          When the force awakens came out we went to our local cinema to watch it.

          We stood in this thing called "a queue" for about 3 minutes.

          We purchased 2 tickets.

          We were appropriately dry-bummed for some sweets and a drink.

          Naturally this wasn't a showing 4.5 seconds after the film was released, but we are grown-ups so that was totally OK.

          For "Rogue one" we similarly went to the cinema, but in a fit of utter genius I pre-booked.

          the queue at the "get your tickets machine" was longer than that at the tills, and moved far slower as the general public struggled to grasp the questions being asked them by the screen.

          1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: it's up, but doesn't work

            When the force awakens came out I waited till it was by the till at Morrissons for a tenner , which wasnt that much later. I then watched it at home on a 100" projector screen at a time of my choosing , in much comfier surroundings , without 100 kids grinding sweet wrappers and kicking the back of my seat.

            1. Alistair
              Windows

              Re: it's up, but doesn't work

              @Prt V Jeltz

              "without 100 kids grinding sweet wrappers and kicking the back of my seat."

              If you find that 100 kids are kicking the back of your seat, I'm going to guess that you might want to stop screaming at the movie. They probably want you to stop so they can hear the dialogue.

              1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

                Re: it's up, but doesn't work

                That could be it you know - 'cos whenever there isnt a cuddly character on the screen, I'm on my feet yelling "Bring back Ja Ja !"

                1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

                  Re: it's up, but doesn't work

                  "Jar Jar Binks makes the Ewoks look like fucking Shaft" - Tim Bisley

              2. Mark York 3 Silver badge
                Childcatcher

                Re: it's up, but doesn't work

                With Mr Lucas doing the writing, they probably won't want to hear the dialogue.

                Exhibit One M'Lud "I'm haunted by the kiss that you should never have given me."

                Ford famously told George Lucas, concerning the clunky dialogue in "Star Wars," "George, you can type this shit, but you sure as hell can't say it."

                Harrison Ford later confirmed this: "I told George: 'You can't say that stuff. You can only type it.'"

                Mark Hamill, for one, was amazed at the dedication Ford put into each and every line, stating, "He'd written things in the margins, saying the same thing basically, but his way. He had an amazing way of keeping the meaning but doing it in a really unique way for his character."

          2. zappomatic

            Re: it's up, but doesn't work

            Collecting paper tickets? How quaint! No need to do that at Cineworld (if you can actually get on and book in the first place), they just scan the QR code in your confirmation email or Apple Wallet at the ticket check point.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: it's up, but doesn't work

          "no issues booking tickets less than an hour in advance."

          Is it even worth booking in that case, just turn up and pay on entry. Or don't cinemas do that any more?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: it's up, but doesn't work

        Or they could just wait until 16 December, or 18, or whenever. It's not like the old days when cinemas were limited by the availability of spools of celluloid being couriered around the country - there's not going to be any shortage of seats.

        I wouldn't even put it past an enterprising cinema chain to deliberately throttle the booking system to up the hype!

      4. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: it's up, but doesn't work

        .. for the first day/ week.

        After which the film will probably be in cinemas for many months. (roughly until the cinema starts selling less than a third of the seats in their smallest thearter on one showing an evening)

      5. mr_souter_Working

        Re: it's up, but doesn't work

        yes, there are two months before that film comes out

        but I wanted to book tickets to see a film today - and the entire booking system is currently not working

        :\

      6. nkuk

        Re: it's up, but doesn't work

        Agreed, there seem to be too many Verruca Salt "I need it NOW" types caught up in the consumerism.

      7. GruntyMcPugh

        Re: it's up, but doesn't work

        Indeed. I remember back in the day, we used to queue up to see a popular film on the day of release, and occasionally not get in because the queue was bigger than the cinema. That would probably trigger kids nowadays.

  4. Ben1892

    SPOILER ALERT!!!!

    You really think anyone with access to a screen is going to manage to avoid seeing the trailer before release date do you? But yup, looks to be the traditional "Good is good, bad is bad, good bad, bad good, pew pew pew, szhuum, szhummm, Booom !"

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: SPOILER ALERT!!!!

      Your forgot to put "profit" at the end.

    2. David Nash

      Re: SPOILER ALERT!!!!

      "You really think anyone with access to a screen is going to manage to avoid seeing the trailer before release date do you?"

      Easy - don't click on the trailer.

      1. GruntyMcPugh

        Re: SPOILER ALERT!!!!

        Er, I went to see BR2049 at the weekend, and I didn't have to click on anything before the trailer for 'The Last Jedi' started, and I didn't think it was appropriate to stick my fingers in my ears and say 'La la la, I'm not listening!'

        Although I think the 'spoiler' it revealed was pretty obvious.

        1. David Nash

          Re: SPOILER ALERT!!!!

          Ah, I didn't think "access to a screen" included going to the cinema.

          I too saw BR2049 but they didn't show me the Star Wars trailer.

          I would have thought that anything in the trailer would be regarded as not a spoiler, since the makers would assume that everyone has seen it.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spoiler alert

    Good person tempted by bad person

    Aging good person dies

    Small spaceship flies into / next to giant death star / planet. Blows it up.

    END

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about the Odeon Kinobi?

    That's bad even by my exceptionally low standards.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What about the Odeon Kinobi?

      "These are not the smelly, popcorn rustling riff-raff that you are looking for."

    2. GruntyMcPugh

      Re: What about the Odeon Kinobi?

      Bah!. Bah baah, bah bah bah, bah bah bah, baah bah baah! Mind that 'Asteroid' Odeon Kinobi : -)

  7. werdsmith Silver badge

    Didn't even know booking was open.

    Anyway, I always wait for the demand to fall off a bit so I don't have to watch in a packed house.

    Less smelly bastards, less noisy eaters and irritating interruptions.

    1. Scroticus Canis

      Less smelly bastards, less noisy eaters and irritating interruptions.

      Less circulating pathogens. Both microscopic and societal.

      Think I am going a bit Howard Hughes in my pre-dotage.

    2. David 132 Silver badge
      Headmaster

      @werdsmith Less smelly bastards, less noisy eaters and irritating interruptions.

      "Fewer". Not "less".

      Now write it out a hundred times. And if it's not done by sunrise, I'll cut your balls off. Hail Caesar.

      (this is a tongue-in-cheek joke. I wasn't your downvoter, btw).

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So based on the trailer, the 'bad' guys get the upper hand in this one.... its like poetry...

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      It's almost as if they're setting it up for another sequel!

      Nah, they couldn't possibly...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The dark side will get the upper hand but everyone important will survive for the sequel....

      Remember though, the audience for these films is the youth, my 10 year old loves star wars, although I think he preferes the clone wars animated series, since it was more likely to kill off characters you liked...

  9. ukgnome

    I always go for an early 10am showing - less people

    Gone are the days when i need to see it first. Hell, i am even willing to wait for it on streaming sites.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yep, when I watched Force Awakens a couple years ago we went on opening day at 9:30am, and bought tickets online the night before because we didn't want to show up and not get seated. Turned out not be a concern, 90% of the seats were empty since it was a Friday and people were working, going to school, etc.

      I'm guessing the only really tough tickets to get would be the midnight showing for people who just can't wait that extra nine hours.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Uncomfortable seats, endless adverts, expensive refreshments etc

    Nah, I'll wait until I can watch it stretched out on my own couch.

  11. adam payne

    I think i'll wait until it hits my local cinema and watch it while sitting on a sofa.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      are they going to let you in with a sofa?

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        In Cambridge Vue they have lie-flat seats.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Do they show Pr0n?

          Asking for a friend.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > In Cambridge Vue they have lie-flat seats.

          Do they also run Roman Orgy nights?

          1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken
  12. Tom 7 Silver badge

    I guess they're looking for an excuse

    to put up the handling charges - which apparently tickets are the only fucking thing in the world that needs them.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: I guess they're looking for an excuse

      no, lots of other scammers needs them . Lawyers , Insurance agents etc

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: I guess they're looking for an excuse

      My favourite is the 50p handling fee you pay via a certain cinema-ticket-selling site for the privilege of printing your own ticket, using your own paper and ink/toner. Why they're allowed to get away with that I'll never know.

      1. Pedigree-Pete
        Unhappy

        RE; 50p handlinfg fee.

        @ Loyal Commenter. Can't upvote you enough. Our local Vue does this when we pre-book using our credit/debit card. I'm inclined to turn up after the rush has died down and use their on site staff to sell me tickets with no fee. Why don't they realise we are saving them money/resources by buying online. PP

        PS; Why does this .co.uk web site on my UK English Win10 machine highlight "realise" as a miss-spell?!?

  13. Eponymous Cowherd
    Unhappy

    Nothing new

    Cineworld's online booking system is, and always has been, a pile of crap.

    Apart from being as slow as hell at the best of times, it's cumbersome and unintuitive, particularly when entering offer codes.

    Then there's the "handling" charges and the "If you sign up we won't rape your wallet some more" thing.

    Cineworld sucks but, unfortunately, the only cinema within realistic travelling time is a Cineworld fleapit, so we are kind of stuck with it.

    1. David Nash

      Re: Nothing new

      I don't remember if they call them "handling" or "booking" charges, but there is nothing to handle these days, they just give you a bar code on screen. Always worth screenshotting just in case the email confirmation goes bad.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Nothing new

        Their booking system is OK, unless you change your mind about the screening date or time and want to go back to the start.

  14. Ye Gads

    we're experiencing high levels of customers trying to book

    As Yoda wisely said: "Do or do not, there is not try"

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Strategic Shortage ?

    It 's an old advertising ploy. (The modern term is social engineering.)

    An accidental difficulty in obtaining tickets generates free publicity via news articles about the cock-up.

    Additionally, people tend to over value things that are difficult to obtain.

    It can create an inflated image of the actual demand.

    If properly executed, it's a gold mine, improperly executed, it's a disaster.

    Case in point: I hadn't heard of the movie until I saw this article.

  16. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Midnight tickets booked

    No hassle. Saw the last 2 at midnight screenings as well.

  17. Buttons
    Meh

    I was going to . .

    . . watch it when its out on Netflix anyway. Oh wait!

  18. Daggerchild Silver badge

    Cinemas + IT

    While we're in the neighbourhood, what *is* it with Cinemas and their basic failure to grasp information display tech?

    I once wandered into a a cinema on impulse and looked for the display of which films were up soon, and what those films were about.

    There is no such display. They only have posters advertising things that they are NOT showing yet.

    If you're lucky, you'll find the screen that cannot fit in the names and times of the mere half dozen films, and needs to rotate around them, while also showing something else. Nothing, anywhere will tell you what those films are about.

    And after that I go to the snack section, and find they've installed new wizzbang displays which constantly rotate menus around between adverts (all monitors rain skittles or fill with pepsi, all menus lost) so there is nowhere you can look to get an overview of what you can buy. Oh, and the hotfood menu is a lie, that closed at 9pm. A paper printed menu would get them more sales.

    And when I use my browser to look up local films in advance, I end up using Google's film search, because all of the cinema websites are slow and *terrible*.

    From a shop/UI design point of view, cinemas appear to be completely, stark raving, mad.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Cinemas + IT

      Simple:

      Film = latest Adam Sandler crap , or Transformers vX.

      Food = popcorn and/or noisy sweets

      Drink = Large bucket of fizzy sugar.

      Now hand over ALL your money and get in there to sit through the adverts (note: not trailers)

      If they did it any other way you might see that the Emperor has no clothes on.

  19. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    A comment on the trailer = spoilers situation:

    Please Stop Giving Everything Away, Hollywood!

  20. Dwarf Silver badge

    So the story is that ...

    There is a disturbance in the force and a couple of people cried out in anger ?

    Ain't that called every day life on the Internet ?

    I wonder if the ticket companies have heard about that not so new elastic technology that can flex up and down based on demand and you only pay for what you use ?

    Seems to be a perfect fit for a company who keep on selling places to watch new stories that are based on old stories that made a mint.

    As to me and films - I can't remember the last time I want to a cinema, nor watched the TV because of all the adverts and in the case of the cinema, the unnecessarily loud volume.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Re: So the story is that ...

      > I can't remember the last time I want to a cinema, nor watched the TV because of all the adverts and in the case of the cinema, the unnecessarily loud volume ..

      And .. buying a ticket at over-inflated price, buy cola and one-other-item at inflated price as they won't sell you a coke on its own. Wait until previous audience has exited the theater. Find seat, watch ads then listen to people talk-and-text through out the movie. Won't be able to follow the dialog as the sound effects are turned up too high. Then be bumped out of the theater to make room for the next crowd. Not that the plot matters as most movies are aimed at the intellectual level of a nine year old. What can you say about the best thing about a movie being a four foot high talking CGI racoon.

  21. Filippo Silver badge

    After 7, I would expect the characters to finally realize that the Force has galactic history stuck in a repeating loop, and *that* is the problem they need to solve, before they run out of planets.

  22. Pat Harkin

    Why is Professor Snape flying a TIE Fighter?

    On the radio this morning, they were discussing that alough the effects are Star Wars, the music is Bake Off...

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Why is Professor Snape flying a TIE Fighter?

      Broomstick's in for repairs.

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