I guarantee that by the time that 8:30am screening rolls around tickets will be available. Plus they always save some for every screening for the Wait List and Day-Of sales.
You underestimated how popular your movie is. BUT, I got very very lucky in that my friend who had a badge was able to snag THE LAST ticket the day before (she wanted to buy more). She gave it to me. Only a small handful of the waitlist people got in.
The movie is lovely. I'm so glad that a movie like this can be so popular, not only in terms of attendance, but also response. It was interesting to be in a room where so many people were discovering this voice (even if they had seen ATBS and PETE'S DRAGON), while for me it felt like a familiar voice (in a good way). A voice that we on this forum have been able to see develop over the past... 15 years?
I don't want to say too much about it, because I regret that I had read the reviews beforehand, and it's best to let the movie surprise. Can't wait for all of y'all to see it and then we can talk more.
One thing I'll say is that I've recently been thinking about how we've reached the limit of how deep a literal/realistic approach to storytelling in film can go. At least for me as a viewer. There've been a bunch of recent movies that have done a great job of being observant and understated and demonstrating all these things that are true about how people behave and how things happen and so on, but... I find that I can't give that much of a shit about it anymore. Meanwhile, movies that engage with symbolism and theme are striking me as able to probe much deeper into its ideas, because of the distillation of its ideas into images and moments. There is so much more feeling in it. I would never say "cinema is dead" but I agree with Scorsese that "images don't mean anything anymore" in the great majority of contemporary cinema, especially when compared to older cinema. Most filmmakers aren't even trying to create new and striking and meaningful images.
My favorite movies of the past few years are incredibly playful with the filmmaking, even when the themes are serious. There is a joy in it. An engagement with the form, and the possibilities. Even though the word "playful" sounds unserious, it's really the only way to be serious.
THE SEVENTH SEAL is playful. PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE is playful. ERASERHEAD is playful. CITIZEN KANE is playful. POINT BLANK is playful. THE LOVE WITCH is playful. THE RED SHOES is playful. A GHOST STORY is playful.
(Also, it was good to see you, David!)