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Contact 15: Star Wars Franchise Frenzy

By: Natalie Swaby
By: Natalie Swaby

"I just came after I woke up this morning,about five or so," tells Rick Grendell as he relaxes in a lawn chair at the front of a very long line.

Only a group of five sit in front of him, and they made a long commute.

"You guys drove," asks reporter Natalie Swaby.

"Yeah, from Iowa City, it was like a four hour drive about," says Emily Mueller.

"The official time we were allowed to be here was 8 o'clock this morning, but we have been kind of hiding in the parking ramps since 10 o'clock last night," admits her traveling partner, Jackie Ottinger.

Dressed up for the day, Casey Maxwell explains, "if you are going to be here for 14 to 15 hours, you've got to be prepared."

And much of the crowd is with their cell phones, movies, and board games, all of which have a connection to the force. By noon Wednesday 50 people lines up outside of the Point Cinema for the midnight showing of Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith, and frenzy over the franchise doesn't stop there, the merchandise is also creating a commotion. Between all the toys and the movie sales $12.6 billion has been grossed, but with a PG13 rating can Star Wars do as well this time around?

"It sounds like you wouldn't want to be bringing your little kids to this," says Grendell.

Primarily because of the violence this film is edgier than the others, but much of the Star Wars gear is being marketed to a younger crowd.

At one Madison movie theater they think the latest installment in the six movie franchise will give summer sales a jump start, and they're not concerned about the rating.

"From my perspective it has not effected sales at all as a matter of fact word of mouth on the film is better than the last two episodes," says Tim Ward of Marcus Theaters.


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