Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Other Side of Midnight

The Revenge of the Sith opens tomorrow. Tonight, I've been watching the excellent documentary that came with my Star Wars Trilogy DVD.

When the first Star Wars (Episode IV) came out in May 25, 1977, the Wednesday before Memorial Day, it only opened in 37 theaters. 37! The studio, 20th Century Fox, made a bargain with theater owners. Apparently, theater owners were very eager to exhibit another 20th Century Fox movie that week, titled The Other Side of Midnight. The studio made a bargain with some of those theaters: if you show "The Other Side of Midnight", you have to show Star Wars too.

Tomorrow, Star Wars: Episode III - The Revenge of the Sith, is opening in 3661 theaters. I have no plans to ever see "The Other Side of Midnight", a movie based on a Sidney Sheldon novel, but I am planning to see George Lucas' final film in his culture-altering saga.


  1. You work in the computer industry right? I can't believe your company didn't grant May 19 as a paid holiday for all of you to see it.

  2. Yes, I'm in the computer industry, but I'm one of those "on-site consultant/contractors". The company where I'm at did have a special morning screening, but alas, since I'm not an employee, I wasn't able to attend.

  3. FWIW, I saw both "The Other Side of Midnight" and "Star Wars" in the same excellent widescreen theater in 1977. Sad you can't find theaters with screens that big anymore unless you go to a drive-in. Anyway, TOSOM was a big surprise for me as I really enjoyed it. It's a chick flick, but has enough sex and adventure to appeal to most of us guys. :) There is a scene with ice from a champagne bucket that I still think about and I haven't seen that movie in almost 30 years!

    As for the comment about the studio making a deal with the theaters, I had always heard it was the other way around, in order to show star wars, they had to agree to show TOSOM. But now with the Internet providing so much easy access to information, it looks like, and makes more sense, that TOSOM was the more desirable film in the buyers eyes and Fox had to bargain to get them to show a sci-fi flick that nobody thought would amount to much.

    At the time, I don't think people were in the mood for an almost 3 hour soap opera, but they run these all the time now and call them "mini-series" and lifetime movies. :)