The Dark Knight Rises had its first screening for critics on Friday… Except, well, it didn’t, really:
The computer device that syncs the picture and sound broke about 1 hour into the screening. Junket reporters, local press, and members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association were at the IMAX at the AMC at Citywalk to see the film. A strict no-guest policy with wristbands were issued for entrance. The movie started promptly at 7 PM. But at about 8:15 PM, as a new reel began, the dialogue between Christian Bale and Michael Caine was clearly out of sync - with a full 5- to 10-second lip-flap after lines were spoken. After a few minutes the crowd shouted for a projectionist. The movie was stopped and the lights went up. A 40-year employee of IMAX said that this has never ever happened to him before. After 20 minutes the man came out again and said the sync computer had failed and could not be rebooted.
Critics had to return at 8AM the next morning to try again. The computer failure is unusual, but it’s not unique; the same thing apparently happened to screenings of Prometheus and, yes, The Dark Knight at the same theater previously. Here’s hoping that it doesn’t end up being a common problem when the movie is released a week on Friday.
(For those wondering, advance word from the Saturday screening is very positive, although time will tell if it stays that way; Prometheus also had great early buzz after screenings, as well, remember.)