by Catherine Shoard, via The Guardian |

First reactions to JJ Abrams’ new movie ahead of Wednesday’s reviews embargo indicate audience at Los Angeles premiere was feeling the force.

There were “smiling faces” from the crowds exiting the Los Angeles premiere of Star Wars The Force Awakens on Monday night. Amongst these, presumably, were Disney executives ecstatic that the $4bn they paid George Lucas for franchise rights looks to have been a sound investment.

Initial reactions from all three screening rooms where the film was shown for the first time – as well as from social media – suggest that JJ Abrams has the chops to please both critics and fans, and that The Force Awakens may well recoup at least half the $4bn by itself.

A journalist for the Hollywood Reporter was one of the first to tweet following the event, at which mobile phones were confiscated.

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Likewise Hunger Games actor and Pitch Perfect director Elizabeth Banks.

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And others revealed that Abrams’ big-budget blockbuster does, as you might imagine, contain a number of high-octane scenes.


Others upped the hyperbole yet higher.