Well, well… Angie’s almost back, in all her horned glory. And among a million other ideas she has inspired in me, I thought I finally had a profitable one last night.
That’s when Joel & I went to a Memorial Day matinee of X-Men: Days of Future Past. (Because I’m a freelancer now, and I don’t work on holidays if I don’t want to, and I don’t have to settle for the most expensive ticket price range any more. So we’ve had two movie dates in the past month… after a grand total of three in four years.)
I didn’t see the other X-Men movies — ensembles or otherwise — and basically just wanted to witness that onscreen chemistry between the adorable real-life best friends who play the young and old versions of the Professor and Magneto. (Funny how that worked out, right? Two pairs of the best actors in their respective generations, both cast as the same fictional BFFs, both dazzlingly adorable together off-screen too.)
The real reason, though: I knew how badly he wanted to see it, and I knew I wouldn’t go after this weekend. I’ve got this weird vote-with-my-wallet thing about Angelina Jolie movies, you see, and even though she doesn’t need my support and the studio’s the one getting rich, it still feels like betrayal to help another film’s box office when hers is out. She has better things to do than act in movies, so it’s a selfish hope too… get those producers scrambling after her, so that maybe I don’t have to wait another four years.
After taking the obligatory lobby shots of those STUNNING Maleficent posters, I sat through the movie having marketing brainstorms. When I stopped a family trip in its tracks to watch Mr. and Mrs. Smith on opening night, I received all kinds of posters and placards and awesome promotional things that still fill my office walls today. But the coolest stuff was displayed in the theaters themselves… I had more than one friend who worked at a movie theater (as one does in high school), and they gave me everything from above-the-door inserts to huge canvases.
I lost the nerve to ask about those posters when we saw Neighbors, but this time I made a beeline to guest relations after the credits (and after-credit scene… still amazes me to watch a theater empty after a Marvel movie; you’re paying for that teaser too, damn it).
The plan: to spontaneously begin a charity drive.
You see, as I was sitting there dreading a conversation with a stranger, I thought about buying promotional stuff on Ebay months later instead. People do that all the time, and they’re usually theater employees, I imagine… collecting the out-of-commission scraps and selling them for a profit to rabid fans later. For Wanted, I was one of those rabid fans; I even bought a Russian poster for $10 that turned out to be tinier than a DVD insert.
Then I thought about all the money that studios make on this stuff, and what Angelina said about making entertainment available to everyone, and realized she’d probably be on board with this idea too: what if I collected the promotional stuff from all the theaters in Tampa Bay, sold them online, and gave 100% of the profits to the Jolie-Pitt Foundation? (I thought about Make It Right or the UNHCR, but I’m pretty sure I’m covering all my bases by going straight to the philanthropists themselves.)
It could be a thing for every major movie, too. And it’s summer blockbuster season, so why not start now? For Maleficent it could be charities that Angie herself backs, but for other movies it could be causes related to the plot… animal shelters for movies about animated pets, education scholarships for movies with child stars, etc.
But I should’ve known that Disney would have its heavy hand intact, firmly holding down all that licensed memorabilia. So I won’t be collecting anything from this movie, but I’ll keep trying for the next ones, and in the mean time, I’ll take the advice of the woman at the ticket counter: come to the first showing, dress up, and reap the freebie rewards.
I literally had tickets to a 7 PM Thursday night show… and my own makeshift horns… less than an hour after receiving that advice. 98% of my wardrobe is already black, so the rest of the costume won’t be a problem… and the aluminum foil will be wrapped in electrical tape. I even got the details right: lipstick and eyeliner and nail polish from MAC’s new Maleficent collection. My progress as of last night (and yes, that’s my office wall in its normal state):
Less than sixty hours until I’m the only costumed adult in the theater, trying to get my hands on some goodies that a bunch of seven-year-old princesses will probably get anyway. Hey, at least I’ll be playing the part well…