After being announced as the secret screening at this year’s SXSW Film Festival, Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” was hit with technical difficulties during its world premiere on Sunday night. About 100 minutes into the film, the sound went out, drawing boos and jeers from the Paramount Theater in Austin.
The projectionist restarted the movie, which had been paused during a climatic scene, but the sound system failed again. After a third, successful attempt, the sold-out crowd burst into applause.
Spielberg, who received a standing ovation at the film’s conclusion, asked the audience not to reveal any spoilers beforehand.
“This is not a film we made,” he said. “This is a movie.”
Also in attendance were cast members Tye Sheridan, Lena Waithe, Olivia Cooke and Ben Mendelsohn.
Afterward, Spielberg joked, “This is perhaps the greatest anxiety attack I’ve ever had.”
Based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel, “Ready Player One” opens nationwide March 29.