Movie "Pearl Harbor": Spectacular Release And Its Aftermath
$5 million premiere and US Navy's help for the studio

Disney's most complicated movie premiere ever

"Pearl Harbor" premiere was held at Pearl Harbor on May 21at a cost of more than $5 million. Disney built the world's largest six stories high movie screen on the US Navy's newest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier the John C. Stennis, which was anchored in the same waters where the historic battle took place. About 2,000 people, including Hawaii's governor, Disney executives, more than 800 military brass and personnel, as well as veterans of the battle, Washington politicians and many of the film's stars were invited to the gala.

The guests entered on a red carpet, the longest ever rolled out by Disney. A vintage B-25 bomber and a P-40 fighter were hired from Planes of Fame in California and displayed on the deck of the Stennis, which is as long as the Empire State Building is high and 10 football fields long. Faith Hill sang the National Anthem.

"Hundreds of enlisted personnel from every military branch cheered and clapped as members of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association made their way to the premiere along a pier covered in red carpet. Some rode in wheel chairs, stopping to shake hands and pose for pictures with young sailors and Marines. (...) Guests watched at sunset as eight Navy SEAL paratroopers jumped out of a Black Hawk helicopter 5,000 feet above. The crowd of partygoers then stood in silence as four F-15 fighter jets from the Hawaii Air National Guard flew over the carrier in a 'missing man' formation, to honor the more than 2,400 Americans killed in the attack that drew the United States into World War II. A massive fireworks display lit up the harbor when the movie ended, with a deafening finale that rained down sparkles on the memorial and the USS Missouri battleship nearby," reported Jean Christensen from the Associated Press. According to Bob Tourtellotte from Reuters, Lylle Breier, senior vice president of special events for Disney said, It is the most complicated movie premiere in terms of planning that Disney has undertaken, but not the biggest in terms of numbers. Some 100,000 were at the premiere of 'Pocahontas' in 1995 in New York's Central Park.

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