James Cameron's Avatar may be the most high-tech movie of all time, but its first outing with fans fell prey to huge technical disasters. The site for Friday's "Avatar Day" crashed, lost people's reservations, and displayed weird SQL error screens.
So this coming Friday evening, 16 minutes of 3-D footage from Avatar will be on display at 3-D IMAX theaters around the U.S., and the tickets went up for distribution at AvatarMovie.com on Monday at noon. And as you've probably heard, fans seeking the golden tickets hit the site in such huge numbers, that it went down for hours. Says Reuters:
Ticket ordering was scheduled to begin online at noon PDT, but at about 11:55 a.m., the site started experiencing difficulties. About 17,000 of the 68,000 available tickets were distributed before the heavy traffic forced the site down for several hours.
"Due to the overwhelming response for tickets to the 'Avatar' event on 8/21, our servers have crashed. We will update you as soon as possible," ticket seekers were advised by "Avatar's" Twitter site.
We were among the 17,000 lucky ones who managed to get tickets early, before the site crashed. But this morning, we received the following cryptic email:
We apologize for the inconvenience, but due to overwhelming demand to see the special scenes from James Cameron's epic motion picture AVATAR, our AVATARMOVIES.COM RSVP site experienced technical difficulties. As a result of the crash you must re-select a screening time. Please note you may not get the original time you selected. Also new ticket confirmations that will be generated by your selection here will be the only accepted form of admittance.
(Update: We checked back, and yes, the email says avatarmovies.com, not avatarmovie.com — chalk it up to a random typo on Fox's part. The link to re-RSVP appears to be a genuine Fox link though.)
We scrambled to click on the link to reconfirm our RSVP, and it appeared that the local theater had added extra showings to cope with the demand. Instead of just 6 PM, now there was 6 PM, 7 PM and 8 PM — which was great news. But after we reconfirmed our original ticket selection, we got a weird error screen full of SQL errors. Could our human technology be failing us before we even encounter the peace-loving Na'Vi?