During the holidays, some movie theaters don’t only show the latest blockbusters. Some will show older Christmas movies; this year, Regal charged $5 for Elf and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. But a new viral TikTok video shows one audience receiving a cinematic lump of coal: Those who went to see the Benedict Cumberbatch version of The Grinch, from 2018, instead watched as the projectionist tried to stream it over Amazon Prime — and ran into a technical glitch.
The video shows an audience loudly groaning as the silver screen shows not the CGI animated take on the Dr. Seuss classic but someone navigating through Amazon’s streaming video service. When whoever’s in charge tries to play the movie, they’re greeted with a message saying the account had reached the maximum number of videos streaming at once, implying that other theaters at the location were also playing movies off Amazon.
It’s not clear where the theater is located, if it’s a massive chain or a locally-owned business, or what the audience was charged, if anything.
In the TikTok video, @rachel.m00re wrote “actual footage from our local movie theatre.” The crowd can be heard mocking the attempts to stream off a streamer, launching into derisive laughter when they’re blocked from showing the movie. The caption on the video reads, “Apparently our movie theatre runs off fire tv & renting Amazon prime movies.”
As of this writing, the video has been viewed over two million times. The comments were savage. “Movie theatres splitting one subscription like the rest of us,” one person wrote. “This is extremely illegal and against Amazon ToS and copyright in general,” another pointed out, adding, “This is hilarious.”