LAKEVIEW — Wes Anderson fans looking to get a second chance at seeing the director's appearance at the Music Box snapped up a series of passes in less than a minute Wednesday.
Some 700 tickets for a free advanced screening of "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and a question-and-answer session with Anderson Saturday at the Music Box Theatre ran out in less than 10 minutes on Tuesday through EventBrite's lottery system, according to Music Box spokesman Rob Walton.
Fans had a second chance to get tickets to the event at noon Wednesday by buying one of 100 $42 passes that included priority access Saturday, plus tickets to screenings next week of every one of the director's feature films.
But once again, tickets sold out almost immediately.
Now, fans have taken to Reddit and Craigslist offering to pay as much as $65 for tickets to the free advanced screening.
Music Box general manager Dave Jennings wrote in a blog post that anybody selling online "is probably a scam."
He also answered questions from fans who angrily bombarded the theater's Facebook and Twitter with questions about what happened on Tuesday as thousands of people tried to get reservations to the event.
"We know this stressed a lot of people out and not everyone got tickets to the event that wanted in," he wrote.
General admission tickets to the new movie had to be free based on a studio requirement, he said. The theater looked at who got tickets, and internet bots did not take any of the reservations, he said. And at noon, every ticket was claimed. A "pending" notice meant that the system was trying to work out all the requests, he explained.
"It happens," Jennings wrote. "Wes Anderson is a very popular director."
The director and writer has a cult following for his signature quirky films, such as "The Royal Tenenbaums and "Moonrise Kingdom."
He will be appearing at the screening at the Music Box, 3733 N. Southport Ave., at 4 p.m. Saturday. "The Grand Budapest Hotel" will be released citywide on March 14.
The film follows the adventures of a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel and a lobby boy who becomes his friend. It stars Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson and Tilda Swinton.
Jennings recommends arriving 60-90 minutes before the Saturday screening, as the showing is overbooked and not everybody with a free reservation will be allowed in. They will open the doors 30 minutes before the screening.
"PLEASE DO NOT ARRIVE REALLY EARLY AND WAIT OUTSIDE," Jennings wrote. "It is going to be cold. Be safe and healthy. There are more important things in life."