"I thought it was really funny and laughed," Nicola Shearer, a 25-year-old Liverpool resident going to see "The Artist" told the Telegraph after being reminded by theater personnel that the film was silent. "Of course, I knew it was and I asked the usher why she wanted to know. She then told me some people complained and asked for refunds because there is no sound and the screen is smaller."
After first denying that any refunds were handed out, an Odeon Liverpool One representative confirmed that some guests received their money back after being dissatisfied with the film.
This isn't the first time a critically acclaimed 2011 film has come under fire from ticket buyers. A Connecticut movie theater refused refunds over the summer when patrons walked out of Terrence Malick's polarizing film, "The Tree of Life."
"We encourage patrons to read up on the film before choosing to see it," read a sign posted at the Avon Theater in Stamford, Conn. It later added, "We hope you expand your horizons with us."
Starring Golden Globe-winning actor Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo and Uggie the dog, "The Artist" is a silent film about a silent film star faced with dwindling job opportunities following the invention of talkies. It's expected to be a major player at the Academy Awards next month, and could earn up to up to ten nominations; on Tuesday, the film earned 12 BAFTA nominations.
Worldwide, "The Artist" has grossed $27 million since its release; here in the U.S., it is creeping up to $10 million, a number that should expand fairly significantly once the Oscar nominations are announced.