<i>Star Wars</i> Flu May Strike IT Productivity

Revenge of the Sith may break movie attendance records this summer, and with IT workers eager to attend the early screenings, "Star Wars flu" may cause some staffing difficulties. (CIOInsight.com)

For some in the tech industry, the chance to see Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith in its opening couple of days is just not something theyre willing to pass up—at any cost.

And while that early viewing may be a badge of honor for geeks around the world, the "Star Wars flu" may pull down productivity figures, analysts warned.

"Theres nothing like being here for the first showing," said an IT manager for a financial brokerage firm on Wednesday, while standing in line in front of the Metreon theater complex in San Francisco.

He had called in sick in order to see the midnight showing on the DLP (digital light processing) cinema screen. After spending quite a few hours in the cold and drizzle, he added that he might not make it to his job on Thursday, as he felt a "second day" of his cold coming on.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read an ExtremeTech review of the new Star Wars movie shown on a DLP cinema screen.

Pointing to some attendees dressed in Star Wars costumes, the IT manager said, "Look at these guys. This is what its all about, and you cant get that unless youre down here now. And being able to be first and see it in a digital cinema is just the coolest."

Acknowledging the trend was The Geek Squad, the new tech support operation of Best Buy Co. Inc. The Web site now offers an easy, printable form to help you explain your predicament to your employer.

Not only that, knowing that the Star Wars movie is likely to attract a large number of IT workers, the Geek Squad said it is helping small businesses in need of emergency IT replacements by auctioning the companys Geek Squad Agents on eBay. Auctions are to take place in major high-tech markets, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Boston.

/zimages/2/28571.gifIn a growning number of theaters, viewers can see Star Wars with a digital cinema projector. Click here to read more about the advances in the digital movie market on Publish.com.

The losers, ultimately, may be the employers. According to movie industry watchers, more than 9 million people will be in theaters nationwide on Thursday and Friday to see the next—and supposedly last—installment of Star Wars. Some viewers will take vacation days to stand in line to get in, and some will call in sick.

/zimages/2/28571.gifRead a PCMag.com story here about the creation of digital special effects in the new epic.

According to a report released by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., workers who blow off work to wait in line for tickets, catch the movie, or recuperate the day after a midnight screening will set their collective employers back at least $627 million.

/zimages/2/28571.gifRead the full story on CIOInsight.com: Star Wars Flu May Strike IT Productivity