LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — It may be setting international box-office records, but for at least one Southland movie audience, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was almost a disaster.

A video posted to Facebook early Friday apparently shows moviegoers at a late-night 3D screening at Hollywood’s Arclight Cinemas of the latest installment of the “Star Wars” saga nearly losing their minds after the projector failed.

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The post from Erik Melendez read: “Projector at Star Wars midnight 3D show at the Arclight ruined, stopped, then started again towards the end of the movie. The movie was spoiled and everyone in the theater went crazy.”

Audience members can be heard shouting “Noooo!” and screaming following the projector failure in the short video clip.

“It kind of ruined our night, but it’s better to tell these fun stories than the sad ones you hear about,” Michael Melendez told CBS2’s Jeff Nguyen.

Some who were there took to Twitter to voice their frustrations.


It wasn’t immediately known whether the interruption was blamed on a technical glitch or some other cause.

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Moviegoers did get their money back and a voucher for a free movie in the future.

“They were apologetic, but you really can’t get that first time experience watching a Star Wars film. You can’t get that back,” Kristin Nepi said.

Still, the apparently isolated incident didn’t dampen the windfall for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, which set a box office record with an estimated $57 million from Thursday night shows.

The Walt Disney Co.’s estimate on Friday easily surpassed the previous Thursday night record of $43.5 million by 2011’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.”

Not everyone in the opening-night audience was dazzled, though. Michael Danke of Los Angeles, who said his friend waited in line for 52 hours for their tickets, was disappointed.

“I was kind of looking forward to a futuristic, bitchin’ movie, but it was an old `Star Wars’ movie,” he said. “They did it old style.”

That nostalgia worked for Tony Brennan, who said he “can’t get off of that high that I’m on” after seeing the film with the opening-night crowd in Hollywood.

“It’s definitely worth all the hype,” he said. “I like how they bring back the old quotes and old scenery and old people… It passed all of our expectations. I’m watching it five, six, seven more times.”

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