General Etiquette > Life...in general

Cinema Shenanigans

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Cherry91:
For the last little while, I've been trying to arrange a cinema trip for myself and a fairly large group of friends (between 8 - 12 people) to see the new Captain America film.

Part of the reason I've taken the trouble to try and make a concrete plan is that we all went to see the first CA film 4 years ago, and in between most of us went to university, so we weren't seeing as much of each other as we used to for quite some time, so this has a little bit more meaning than just a jolly to the movies. I've stated that this is fairly important to me to the group as well. Trying to find a date and time everyone/the majority of the group can make has been fiddly and taken a bit of doing.

Only now, on FB, one of the friends who has stated he intends (on a whim, not a pre-planned decision) to go and see the film tonight, and he invited other members of the exact same group I've been arranging this outing for (we have a private FB group), and one other friend has accepted.

While he has stated that he intends to still come to the outing I'm planning, I'm a bit put out that he's decided to do this. It makes it feel like the effort I've gone to has been sort of invalidated.

Am I overreacting by being a little annoyed by this? If not, how can I politely tell him this?

ChinaShepherdess:
I can 100% understand being put out that he's invited many of the same people, but if the plan is already in motion, I'm not sure there's much to be gained from addressing it with him -- it would be an awkward conversation, and unless you foresee a similar situation arising in future, I don't know that there would be much utility in having this conversation. It's entirely possible that he's a mega-fan of the franchise and wants to see the movie before he can hear any spoilers, or likes to see movies multiple times, or that this first viewing is to see the movie seriously and the second viewing is intended as more of a social occasion. My feeling is, as Ma Ingalls would say, "Least said, soonest mended."

lowspark:
Oh yeah. It's annoying. However, it totally depends on your relationship with this guy as to how to react. Is it someone who is a friend and who you want to let them know, "hey, not cool, don't do this again please" or someone you hardly ever speak to and this sort of thing will probably never come up again?

If it's the former, then I'd probably just make him aware of how much effort you've exerted trying to get this event organized and let him know he stepped on your toes by doing this. If it's the latter, well, I don't see much point in saying anything.

Either way, it's too late to do anything about it. He's sent out the notice, some people are going to respond in the positive, and if you do anything to try to stop it from happening, I think it might make you look like a petulant child.

One lesson I've learned over the years about trying to plan an outing for a large group is that the more people you are trying to include the more impossible it becomes to find "the perfect date" that everyone can attend. I usually throw out a list of dates, 3-5 choices work well, and the date with the most "yes" responses is what I pick. Yeah, it means that some people will miss, and that's unfortunate. But that's the way it goes. Even if you can pick out the one perfect date, inevitably someone's going to have something come up at the last minute and miss anyway.

Yeah. Been there, done that.

whatsanenigma:
I will be watching this thread with interest, because I once found myself on the opposite side of the situation, and I was really confused by the whole thing.

The situation was, an old friend was living far away and we were making plans for her to come visit me for a while.  We were making plans far in advance and it had briefly come up that a certain movie would be out in theaters during the time she would probably come and we should see it together if that timing worked out.  I thought this was great and I agreed that it would be a good idea.

Well, eventually, it turned out that she did come during that time period, when the movie had been out for quite a while.  Before she came, some family asked me if I wanted to see that movie with them and I said sure.  When this came up in conversation, my visiting friend was really mad at me!  She said that we had agreed to see the movie together.

I was really confused, because for one thing I knew she was really anti-spoiler (the exact opposite of me) and so I didn't tell her any spoilers.  And for another thing, we hadn't agreed firmly to see the movie together anyway, much less that we would see the movie for the first time together. (Apparently she had really wanted to see this movie and had been not seeing it, and going to lots of trouble to avoid spoilers, because she thought she and I would see it for the first time together.)

I tried to apologize, but it took her a while to get over it.   We did go to see the movie together but she was clearly not as happy as she would have been had it been the first time for both of us, not just her.  This was even though I had not said any spoilers to her, either before we got there or while waiting, and didn't give anything away during the movie itself (I put a lot of effort into not preemptively gasping when something dramatic was about to happen, for example.)

 Had I known her specific feelings on the situation, I would have waited to see it myself.  To me, the most important thing of going to the movies, for the first time for a given movie or not, is the social experience.  I know not everyone is that way.  But I hadn't realized how far in the other direction my friend was, though I would have respected it had I known.

Anyway,  it was a very confusing experience and I am hoping that this thread gives me some insight into how I could have known better in advance and behaved better than I did.  Nothing's been said between this friend and I about it since it happened (probably 10 years ago now) but I do still feel a bit bad.

Twik:
There is a mystique to seeing a first-run movie in the theatre. So, by having half the group already experience it, it dilutes the fun for the rest. You don't expect the same level of excitement.

The other problem is that people who are inconsiderate enough to start planning an earlier visit to a movie that they will be seeing with someone else sometimes don't enjoy it that much. Then you get "Awww, do we HAVE to go to Awesome: the Movie? I don't wanna spend money to see that hack job again. How about we go to Absolutely Terrible instead? I heard it has some great gross-out moments. No? Well (sigh), if you insist. But you'll not like it. I hated it when (spoiler), and when (spoiler) happened."

The only decent way of doing this (and I've been in the position where I've promised two groups to see a particular movie), is to not let on in any way to the second group that you have been to it before. Arranging a prior showing by FB is not showing any discretion at all.

Personally, I would send him a private "Dude, not cool," message. He's basically inviting people he knows will be at your party for one of his own.

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