Many of them had donated to the Kickstarter campaign Braff launched in May 2013, which ultimately raised $3.1 million to help finance the film.
But only a handful of donors were rewarded with a seat to the first showing.
“We didn’t know anybody in Utah to buy us tickets,” said Bryant Woodard from Longmont, Colo., who donated about $500. In return, he received a copy of Braff’s latest play. He had still not received autographed memorabilia he’d been promised.
Another young woman, who had donated $50, held up a sign asking for two tickets.
A chunk of seats were roped off for Kickstarter fans, who joined Braff, Kate Hudson, Goldie Hawn, Harry Styles and Mandy Patinkin inside. (Donors of $750 or more were given tickets to various premieres of the film.)
“I’m so happy to be here,” Braff told the hooting fans in introductory remarks that didn’t include a thank you to the Kickstarter supporters.
“You are the very first eyes on a movie we have been working very hard on.”
About 30 minutes before the premiere, Woodard was able to buy a single ticket outside the theater for his girlfriend but not himself.