Sunday, June 01, 2008

Isn't "Premiere" Supposed to Mean "First?"

The entertainment industry, particularly Hollywood, is a strange world. I've spent years of intense study demystifying its many arcane practices, but there's still one thing I don't understand: how can Lou Diamond Phillips and family have been attending the "premiere" of Kung Fu Panda earlier today when I, my sister, and a cinema full of parents, kids and animation fans saw it on Wednesday?

It's not the first time this has happened. Back in 1999 I attended the Toronto International Film Festival's screening of Princess Mononoke. As part of an abortive assignment for Animation World Network, I later interviewed Gillian Anderson and Neil Gaiman—and Anderson (among others) referred to the Los Angeles screening she attended a week or two after mine as the "premiere." (One person referred to it as the "world premiere," despite the film's having been released in Japan two years earlier. But I think that was just a slip of the tongue.)

Seriously, what is it with this?

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