So says the Whedon himself:
. . .so I called the Universal rep this afternoon, just sort of a "Hi. . .just wanted to see if you guys were in a position to give me hard confirmation on Serenity showing at Mission Valley."
This is cool #1. . .he said, "I think we can do that. . .I’m just not sure when. They’re being a little weird..." and I realize he thinks I’m talking about an ADVANCE screening. This is cool b/c he was actually in the ’advance screening’ state of mind.
So. . .I reassure him that the only date I’m working on with him is September 30th. . .that I realize he’s got tons on his plate and I don’t want to ask for anything uber-special. . .just want to make the nationwide release something of memory.
THEN he tells me. . ."Oh. . .you guys probably won’t even have to wait until September 30th anymore. Our test markets and advance screenings are off the charts. . .we had no idea. . .when you said, ’Big following’, I didn’t realize how big. . ."
And THEN he said,
Quote: "All of us (Meaning the Distribution folk at ’Versal) really wish we’d just gone ahead and premiered it in May. It’s working out as well as "Star Wars" and if we’d started in May, it would have run all summer."
Now. . .
See. . .
For a Firefly fan to say, "It’ll be as big as Episode 3!!!" is delerium and delusion.
For a MOVIE CRITIC to say, "It’ll be as big as Episode 3!!!" is optimistic if not slightly unrealistic.
For a DISTRIBUTOR. . .who’s JOB involves looking at numbers and analyzing statistics, etc. etc. etc. . . to say something along those lines, however. . .and to have the OBVIOUS frustration in his voice of "Dammit, I wish we’d thought of that". . .
I mean. . .
So. . .yeah. As the conversation ended, his words were, "I’d go ahead and look for a nationwide release to be earlier than September 30th."