I had seen it three times previously — last Friday at the Australians in Film screening, Monday at the premiere, and Tuesday at the ERB Warner Brothers Screening. So this was my first time at a regular showing. I went to the 6PM 2D screening at Del Amo AMC in Torrance, an LA suburb. Bought tickets at 5:30 — there was a BFG screening about the same time but all of the people buying tickets in line near me bought for Legend of Tarzan . . . .inside, found that there was a line of about 123 people waiting to get in at 5:35, which grew to 180 before they finally let us in at 5:50. The theater manager was in the neighborhood and I talked to him, and he said they were getting bigger than expected audiences for Tarzan — and the previous show had been sold out, which was why it was taking longer to clean than expected. He also said they had scheduled fewer screenings than needed, based on the projections coming into the weekend, and were struggling because of that.
No lobby displays!
The demographics of the people in line — about 40% hispanic, 20% black, 10% Asian and the rest white. There was only one classic “Old White Guy” in his sixties (and I’m NOT classifying myself that way, even though maybe I should) which I thought was interesting — everyone else was younger. Of the 185 who finally viewed (95% capacity), maybe 10% were kids under thirteen, and the rest pretty evenly split among the various age demos. It definitely was a “four quadrant crowd” — under 25, over 25, male, female. Good number of dating couples although the majority were families.
Overheard in line:
- “Who would have thought?” (referring to the long line)
- “Dad, why is Tarzan so popular?” (12 year old boy) . . .
By the time the show started it was a full house except for maybe a half dozen scattered single seats. Entire front row was occupied by kids.
During the screening here are some things I noticed:
[SOME SPOILERS MAY FOLLOW]
- No restlessness from any of the under thirteens. I was a little surprised by this — thought some of the setup, period elements might be a problem for them. But every time, just as it was maybe going to drag for them — there would be a flashback to the jungle or some other type of action. In my previous viewing I had felt that the editing might force the pace a little too much — but in this screening setting (the real one, not the artificial ones I had been to previously) — I could definitely see why the pacing is the way it is.
- Reacted well to the jokes laughed where they were supposed to laugh.
- Ripple of reaction to Akut’s nudging of Tarzan in the back after he gets terrorized by Kerchak . . . .(that IS Kerchak, right?)
- Samuel Jackson as George Washington Williams was definitely appreciated.
- Applause when Jane escaped — hadn’t heard that in the other screenings.
- Applause when Akut and the boys come rushing in . . .
- Very nice, solid applause at the end. Maybe even “sustained applause” …….
- Good buzz going out of the theater.
- Lots of murmuring and reaction when Kala died.
I was definitely looking for some restlessness in Act 2…. didn’t detect any.
Overall — my sense was that this audience would have given it an A- Cinemascore, and I was encouraged by the turnout. This kind of a late Sunday surge (if that’s what it was) makes me hopeful we might see an upgrade to the $38.1M figure for Friday-Sunday after the Sunday actuals come in. Would be great to get to $40M . . .