NY Post film critic Lou Lumenick started a veritable wildfire when he blogged about the $120 million "Ghost Rider" not being screened for critics (the fate of five wide-releases already this year). But the filmmakers insist this is a misconception, as they’ve arranged at least three screenings before the film’s release next Friday.
A publicist for Columbia TriStar tells RT that in addition to hosting "Ghost Rider" screenings yesterday and today for junket press, multiple promotional screenings will be held across the country Thursday, February 15, a day before its nationwide release. [We just got our local notice for the 7pm screening.] A simultaneous premiere in New York that evening will also be held, and press will be invited to both events.
Granted, this sets a tiny timetable for critics not attending the earlier screenings to crank out reviews for Friday — most press screenings occur days, weeks, or more in advance of a film’s scheduled release. Then again, most reviewers abide by the implicit industry code of posting a review on game day, so while we may have to wait until Thursday night or Friday to see "Ghost Rider" navigate the Tomatometer, there should certainly be reviews to read.
Our source says the unconventional screening situation is a timing issue; as director Mark Steven Johnson explained to readers of SuperHeroHype.com (who seem to have been the only reviewers who have seen the flick so far), "Sometimes you have critic screenings a week in advance but we weren’t ready for that (as I’ve said before, we took it down to the wire)."
Avi Arad and Gary Foster here. We wanted to chime in on all this speculation. Here is the scoop: We just completed a fantastic international tour where the film screened all around Europe. Our junket begins tomorrow and 75 plus journalists are seeing the film. Of course we screened it for Mirko and SHH. You saw the review. Theater owners across the country saw it last week and were thrilled with the film and expect big attendance. There are promotional screenings being held across the country next week. Next week reviewers who haven’t seen it will have the opportunity. Don’t worry. We can’t wait for February 16th to roll around so that everyone can see our cool GHOST RIDER.
Avi and Gary