I’m going to be in London on Friday, so I won’t have a chance to see the 15 minute preview of Avatar footage that will be hitting select IMAX theaters. Neither, perhaps, will many of you.

Anecdotal evidence collected via message boards and Twitter indicate that people simply could not get through the the web page where they were supposed to get tickets to the preview screening. I gave it a shot (the preview is playing in London, after all. While I’ll be working I thought it would be worth a try; the system wouldn’t let me choose locations in Europe) and could barely get through to the site. Many people who did get through say they have not yet received confirmation emails.

The official Avatar Twitter page, @officialavatar, put up this notice: 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!

Is it just me or is that nuts? Is James Cameron happy about this? Or was a server crash all part of the plan, to lend weight to the level of internet interest? If this was a semi-purposeful crash (ie, Fox didn’t allocate any extra resources), I think it was a bad idea – I’m seeing lots of people pissed off about the whole thing on boards and on Twitter. This isn’t a good way to engender good will for your advertisement.

Speaking of which, Scott Weinberg of Cinematical really summed it up for me with this tweet:

OMG Who wants to sleep out for tickets to next month’s sneak preview of the new Geico advertisments? They’re in IMAX!