Overbooked Screenings Rile ShoWest Delegates

“Kick Ass” and “Karate Kid” draw huge crowds, but paying registrants wonder why general public gets in first

Last Updated: March 18, 2010 @ 12:32 AM

It was another day of standing ovations at ShoWest screenings Wednesday, with the Paris Hotel’s Les Theatre des Arts once again packed full for showings of Sony’s "The Karate Kid" and Lionsgate’s "Kick Ass."

But while screenings of these much-anticipated films did nothing to slow the sizable momentum the projects had coming into ShoWest, a number of registered delegates to the conference weren’t at all happy about having to share the huge, yet fully subcribed theater with members of the general Las Vegas public, many of whom were let in by ShoWest officials ahead of paid registrants for "Kick Ass."

"We’re paying over $1,200 for this conference," said one East Coast theater booker to TheWrap. "There’s two of us, so you factor in $1,000 for a room and $1,200 for air fare, and you’re talking about $5,000 to come here and get shut out of the very reason why we came."

Several other theater officials nearby agreed with this assessment.

The exhibition official’s ire was particularly drawn on Tuesday, when he and his colleague were both denied entrance into "Toy Story 3," which was filled up fast, even though the Disney animated film was playing in two theaters.

"It’s clear that they’re giving out more tickets than they have seats for," the exhibition official added.

ShoWest officials weren’t available late Wednesday evening for comment.