My teens are excited about the opening of Avengers: Age of Ultron, as is just about every other Marvel superhero movie fan in the United States and throughout the world. My guess is that this is going to be the #2 strongest film this year in the box office (nothing will supplant the seventh Star Wars movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and as this is opening weekend, it’s #1 on the list of a lot of movie fans to-do lists, no question.
Still, my teens and their friends are eager to see Age of Ultron, and understandably. It’s great fun. How do I know? I saw it last week. You can read my review of Avengers: Age of Ultron over on my film blog if you’d like. It’s 99.3% spoiler free 🙂
Last night my 18yo daughter A- went to the Fandango app on her iPhone and bought four tickets for the gang at the AMC Flatiron Crossings 14, a lovely remodeled theater with recliner chairs (with footrests!) and very little seating. Easily the most comfortable theater in the area, but that reduction in seats-per-theater is challenging. What’s more unusual is that it’s also reserved seating, so you pick out where you want to sit when you buy the tickets, not when you show up in the theater.
She bought the tickets – $71 worth of 3D goodness (with Fandango service fee) – and later last night I went to print out the tickets so they’d be ready for the showing this afternoon, just to bump into this:
I looked at it a couple of times, hearing A- say “Nice! Back row! These will be good seats for the film!” in my head.
But why would they label rows starting at the back? Or is row “A” actually the front of the theater, right by the screen?
I went on the Fandango site and pulled up a seating chart just to find out the bad news:
Augh. Turns out that she had inadvertently bought four tickets for the very front row of the movie theater, not the very back.
No wonder they were available on opening weekend!
Fortunately I seem to have become a Fandango VIP so I could cancel the tickets and get a refund (minus convenience fee, boo) so while the children were all asleep I did go ahead and cancel these four tickets, then realize that every single showing at the fancy theater with the comfy chairs was either completely sold out or only had the front row available. Even the 8.30am showing!!
With a film this big, it’s in a lot of theaters, so we switched to another local favorite, Cinebarre, and I scored four tickets for them for the 7pm showing. At about 60% of the price of the original 3D screening, a nice bonus.
Still, this makes me wonder why ticketing services like Fandango don’t have a pop-up window for buyers “Warning: You’re buying seats for the front row. Proceed?” Yes, I know it might adversely affect ticket sales for the site, but wouldn’t the increase in customer happiness more than justify the change?
Meanwhile, my kids are awful appreciative that I caught this hiccup and got them tickets for a theater where if they show up an hour early they should be able to get quite decent seats and enjoy the film considerably more than had they have been stuck in the front row for a 3D screening. I’m pretty sure that would have been horrible…