London: 9 November 2009
This was a first. A video game release - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - gets the full on Leicester Square premiere treatment. It has been a bit of a slow year in the Square for prems but it is certainly ramping up to go out with a bang. A fortune has been invested in this premiere. A unique camouflage styled carpet runs fifty yards westward from the Vue foyer to where the usual suspects have gathered to attract the celebs to sign as they are dropped off. The best type of barrier keeps us back rather than the flimsy zinc model that has become commonplace at events. A contingent of authentic looking soldiers marches in with a Hummer. They station themselves along the carpet. The barriers are packed as passers by and tourists tune in to see what is going on. Portentous music, presumably from the game, plays and lots of spotlights play over the crowd. It is a chill evening and happily I slip over to the Square at five pm wrapped up warm to find a great spot opposite the entrance. I discovered later that one of the reasons for it being free is that a video crew is going to be plonked right in front of me. It turns out to be a mixed blessing because although they block lots of shots, they also interview many of the celebs right before my very eyes. Some of the celebs who are spotted are called over to the fan line to sign. Some do not hear and some rush directly inside.