Sione makes comeback, six years on
Teenage girls squealed as an actor usually confined to their week-night television screens spoke to them before a Hamilton movie premiere this week.
As Shortland Street personality Pua Magasiva and fellow Sione's 2: Unfinished Business actor Jessica Grace Smith moved away, the teenagers' texting thumbs swung into action, alerting their friends they had just spoken to the stars, and that they had scored free tickets to the movie, which opens to the public today.
Compared with the world premiere in Auckland, the Hamilton showing of Sione's 2: Unfinished Business at the Chartwell cinemas was a low-key affair, with about 100 people, either friends of the cast or people who had won tickets, turning up to enjoy the preview.
Magasiva and Smith, who introduced the movie to the crowd and then disappeared back to Auckland, had high hopes the film would be as popular as the original – Sione's Wedding – but warned it was quite different in some respects.
"The second one has got a different flavour, a different tone altogether," Magasiva said.
"It is six years on, after all."
The pair were confident a new generation of movie-goers would enjoy the film along with the old fans, but thought it was worth watching the original first for those who wanted to see the development of the characters.
Sione's Wedding was stolen and sold on the black market about a month before it was officially released, costing the producers an estimated $500,000 in lost revenue and making them particularly vigilant around security this time.
"It was a big deal," Magasiva said.
"It was quite sad people treated the film that way."
Smith, who played Diona in the television series Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, said the producers had been so strict this time that even the actors had to hand in their cell-phones before the Auckland premiere.