Disney held an exclusive Tron Legacy event in five cities around the world this weekend where New York, Los Angeles, London, Toronto and Sydney all took part.

To apply for tickets to the premiere Tron Legacy event, you needed to be a member of FlynnLives.com,where I registered the night before the tickets became available. Unfortunately I was occupied and couldn’t sign up but Screen Rant writers Paul Young and Anthony Ocasio were on top of things and got me into the Toronto screening.

I was excited, as many were, to see what awesomeness Disney would show us and the most hardcore of Tron fans who’ve played along in the Alternate Reality Game (ARG). Unfortunately, the event was a massive letdown and it resulted in at least 3 of the 5 screenings full of disappointed attendees.

Here in Toronto, we arrived an hour early and there was already a line-up. Once we were seated after waiting and going through the security check, handing over our cell phones, we waited another half an hour until finally the lights dimmed. The presentation started, we watched a very cool teaser trailer, the lights instantly came on and we were rushed out. Wait… this is the big reveal that the viral marketing campaign was leading up to? A 2-minute teaser is what we all came and waited for?

There was no other footage shown and we were not allowed to watch the trailer again. Fans and bloggers waited and traveled for a 2-minute trailer that will likely be online this week and attached to Alice in Wonderland next weekend. What was the point?

At the Toronto screening of this event, at the Scotiabank Cineplex Theater, those who attended were very frustrated. There was a intense amount of negative reaction and many were shouting out as the lights immediately came on and on the way out. We were all given a “Flynn Lives” T-shirt but that didn’t make the “event” worth it. From what I’m told in some emails and from seeing the twitter reaction after wards, the London and New York screenings were met with similar negative reaction.

In my opinion, this was a fail in marketing as they upset loyal Tron fans and internet bloggers – not a good idea to promote a film early. Why not just release the trailer online? There was no extra exclusive footage shown so there was no real purpose to this.

The Trailer Itself

The bright side to this is that what we saw from the Tron Legacy teaser was pretty cool. It started with some of the footage we saw at Comic-Con as we meet the main character, Sam Flynn, played by Garrett Hedlund. Sam of course, is the son of Jeff Bridge’s character from the original Tron. The focus of the teaser was on Sam’s journey to enter Flynn’s arcade, and hence, the Tron universe to find his father. “Flynn Lives” after all, is the tag line of the ARG.

We see Sam as a motor cycle owner and rider in real life (the movie’s real life, that is) and pulling off some neat stunts, foreshadowing what will become his ability to ride light cycles in the Tron universe.

Once we enter Tron, the footage shows off what the film is really all about: the visuals. The digital Tron aesthetic, the wicked cool background music and some cool tech and action shots are what will sell this movie. Do not expect much from the story.

There were also some first-looks of some of the new characters being introduced in Tron Legacy through some very brief shots of them and I totally dig the costumes. There were a few brief scenes of the Disc action but not enough. I believe that the event shouldn’t shown extended footage of some of the visuals of the Tron universe and more on the action.

Flynn Lives

Some folks in the audience were talking about another part of the ARG where on the FlynnLives website, there exists a page that requires 5 codes. They figured, since there were five cities involved in this event, that each would reveal one code and together they’d unlike what may be another stage of this viral marketing game. To see that page, click here. At the moment it is blank.

We didn’t get any code at ours and from what I’ve been told, there weren’t any given at the other screenings either so that will be something continued online for those interested.

Overall, it was a waste of an event and it didn’t fully serve its purpose. They said tickets were sold out at the locations but the New york theater had 30% empty seats and the Toronto screening seemingly had half the seats empty. Good thing, considering it was absolutely not worth going unless you were in the LA area to see their screening which was followed by a Q&A and second viewing of the trailer.

I’ve learned my lesson and won’t fall for this again, but the teaser trailer itself was cool; just a terrible way of premiering it. I will be seeing the movie in theaters and if you want to know why, check back to Screen Rant soon to see the new Tron Legacy trailer. There’s potential for a cool franchise for Tron.

Tron Legacy hits theaters on December 17th, 2010.

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