So much for Edward, Bella, Harry and Ron.
The Winona 7 Theater set a new ticket sales record Thursday for the midnight screening of “The Hunger Games,” the first film based on the popular young-adult novel series.
Advance ticket sales for the film eclipsed the previous record set in November by “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1.”
As of 4 p.m., about 750 tickets had been sold to the movie, with about 250 still available. Thanks to the theater’s recent switch to all-digital projection, the movie could be shown on all 7 screens at once.
Winona 7 manager Jason Fremstad said he had been answering the same question all day: “Are there still tickets to ‘The Hunger Games’?”
“All week, it’s been nonstop people walking in here,” he said. “Most assume it’s sold out.”
Fremstad said he expected as many as 900 tickets to be sold by midnight — meaning at least double the normal number of employees were needed to staff the theater.
The line outside the theater started forming at about 3:30 p.m. At the front was a group of Winona Senior High School students, clad in custom “Hunger Games” T-shirts.
“We’re kind of crazy,” said Jaynie Olsen, 15.
The group had plenty of activities planned for the eight-hour wait.
Autumn Beckman, 16, brought a homemade “Hunger Games”-inspired version of Catch Phrase, a popular take on Charades where players give clues to a word or phrase until members of their team guess correctly.
Several of the kids brought foam weapons and planned to re-enact favorite scenes from the book. They also planned on listening to music performed by some of the actors who star in the movie — even if it is admittedly bad, they said.
“It’s just dedication,” Beckman said. “You’ve got to battle through.”
By the numbers
750 — Tickets sold by 4 p.m. Thursday for the midnight premiere of “The Hunger Games” at Winona 7 Theater. About 250 seats were still available at that time, said manager Jason Fremstad. He expected to sell at least another 100 tickets.
725 — Tickets sold to the midnight showing of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1” in November.
600 — Tickets sold to the midnight showing of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” in July 2011.
What is “The Hunger Games”?
“The Hunger Games,” a film based on author Suzanne Collins’ novel, focuses on an independent 16-year-old girl named Katniss Everdeen
who participates in an annual event known as the Hunger Games, which pits 24 children — known as “tributes” — against each other in a widely televised death match that ends with a single victor.