Box office receipts don’t always tell the full story, especially when it comes to the enduring power of The Lonely Island and their unique brand of smart satire and genre dissection. While the long-time creative trio — including Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, and Akiva Schaffer — are perhaps best known for their “Saturday Night Live” digital shorts like “Dick in a Box” and “Lazy Sunday” and their wonderfully deranged big screen adaptation of their popular “MacGruber” sketches, just three years ago, they made another cult-classic-in-the-making in the form of “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.”
Styled as a mockumentary examining the career and life (and incredibly bad life choices) of eponymous pop star Conner Friel (AKA Conner4Real) as he spirals hilariously out of control after years in the spotlight, the film sends up not just the music industry, but the entertainment complex as a whole. Plus, there’s at least one painfully funny song about Osama Bin Laden, a signature dance move named (weirdly enough) after donkeys, Seal being mauled in service to a marriage proposal, and an entire subplot involving Michael Bolton. That’s just a small sample of the giddy fun at play in the musical mockumentary, which also includes a charming message about the power of friendship (4Real!).
When the film opened in June of 2016, it was considered a box office bomb, earning just $9.5 million against a reported $20 million budget. And yet, like “MacGruber” and even “Hot Rod,” the film has attained something of a cult classic status amongst both Lonely Island super-fans and connoisseurs of smart comedy. Proof that it’s continuing to earn acclaim: It’s now set for a sing-along theatrical experience, the kind normally reserved for older films like “Spaceballs” and its ilk.
Next month, 26 Alamo Drafthouse Cinema locations will exclusively screen a very special “Popstar” sing-along theatrical experience. Officially licensed by Universal Studios, the “unique interactive theatrical experience” kicks off a new partnership between the companies, with more events to come for a range of other catalog titles. “We’re thrilled to partner with Alamo Drafthouse for this chance to give audiences a fresh, innovative experience at the theater with beloved films in our library,” said Universal Pictures’ Jason Jackowski, Vice President – Repertory (Theatrical Distribution) in an official statement.
“Popstar” is just the latest cinema classic to get the Alamo Drafthouse Quote-Along and Sing-Along treatment, and the theater chain has recently enjoyed successes around films like “Labyrinth,” “Spaceballs,” and “Three Amigos.” At the interactive Quote-Along, Sing-Along, and Movie Party screenings, the cinema-eatery’s strict no-talking rules are “relaxed and audience members are encouraged to celebrate the film with interactive elements, like on-screen lyrics for all songs, plus subtitles for key quotes, and props.”
The “Popstar” event will feature inflatable microphones, glow necklaces, and ribbon wands. “The most important prop we’re providing is probably the American flags for ‘Finest Girl (Bin Laden Song),'” said Henri Mazza, Alamo Drafthouse’s V.P. of Content, Sponsorship and Events, in an official statement. “Nothing makes me feel prouder to be an American than watching a crowd of people waving the flag while singing this patriotic tune.”
Check out the full list of participating Drafthouse locations below. Tickets for the “Popstar” Sing-Along are on sale now at Alamo Drafthouse locations across the country.
Ashburn, VA | Alamo Drafthouse One Loudoun
Austin, TX | Alamo Drafthouse Ritz
Austin, TX | Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline
Austin, TX | Alamo Drafthouse Mueller
Austin, TX | Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter
Charlottesville, VA | Alamo Drafthouse Charlottesville
Corpus Christi, TX | Alamo Drafthouse Corpus Christi
Laredo, TX | Alamo Drafthouse Laredo
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX | Alamo Drafthouse Denton
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX | Alamo Drafthouse Lake Highlands
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX | Alamo Drafthouse Las Colinas
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX | Alamo Drafthouse Cedars
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX | Alamo Drafthouse Richardson
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX | Alamo Drafthouse North Richland Hills
Denver, CO | Alamo Drafthouse Littleton
Denver, CO | Alamo Drafthouse Westminster
Houston, TX | Alamo Drafthouse LaCenterra
Lubbock, TX | Alamo Drafthouse Lubbock
Los Angeles, CA | Alamo Drafthouse Los Angeles
Phoenix, AZ | Alamo Drafthouse Chandler
Phoenix, AZ | Alamo Drafthouse Tempe
San Antonio, TX | Alamo Drafthouse Park North
Raleigh, NC | Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh
Springfield, MO | Alamo Drafthouse Springfield
Woodbridge, VA | Alamo Drafthouse Woodbridge
Twin Cities, MN | Alamo Drafthouse Woodbury