How to Throw the Year's Biggest Premiere

To say Disney can do a premiere like May 7’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides better than anyone else is an understatement. Nobody else can do a premiere like this. Of course, the main reason is that nobody else has a venue that matches Disneyland. But the invasion-of-Normandy-type planning and execution it demands is right in the Disney playbook: 2,000 select guests, all of whom can stay at the park after the movie and enjoy the rides until 1 a.m.; a 2,300-foot black carpet lined with bleachers; covering 10,000 lights in the park’s west quadrant to ensure the darkness an outdoor 3D film needs. Good thing Disney’s partner in this extravaganza is Jerry Bruckheimer, whose mega-premieres for the studio have included 1995’s kickoff for The Rock on Alcatraz Island and the three previous Pirates launches at Disneyland in Anaheim. “You want an event that will attract the media who can inform the public that something really special is coming,” Bruckheimer says. “Doing a premiere like this sends a statement to the public that the people who financed the movie really believe in the movie.”