Skip to main content

Mix-up causes R-rated horror trailers to show before kids animated film at theater

BRIGHTBURN - Official Trailer #2

Remember the sheer joy and excitement of your early outings to the movie theater? That unmistakable whiff of freshly made popcorn, the huge auditorium and giant screen, the sense of anticipation as the lights dimmed and the presentation began.

That was how it was supposed to be for children at the Empire Cinema in Ipswich, England, last Saturday. But things didn’t quite turn out as planned.

Related Videos

They were there to see their favorite characters in Peppa Pig: Festival of Fun, a cheerful animated offering for kids ages 2 to 7.

Expecting to see trailers aimed at a similar demographic, the audience instead found itself watching ads for two R-rated horror movies, a gaffe that left some of the kids in tears and parents wondering what on earth was going on.

The trailers were for Ma, a psychological horror about a teenage dream that turns into “a terrorizing nightmare,” and Brightburn, described as “a superhero horror” (trailer above).

Charlie Jones had taken along her 2-year-old daughter, Annie, for what was her very first movie theater experience, according to a BBC report about the unfortunate incident.

“I tried to cover her eyes during the trailers and told her they were silly films for mummies and daddies, but there were lots of kids crying and she was very confused and started crying, too,” Jones said.

She told the BBC she was furious with the manager of the theater, adding, “I don’t think he understands the impact of it.”

“You go to the cinema and you expect it to be a safe family day out, you don’t expect her to be exposed to anything which could do harm,” Jones said, adding that her daughter had been behaving in a “subdued” manner since the visit.

Responding to the regrettable blunder, a spokesperson for Empire Cinemas said, “As soon as the staff on site were made aware of the situation, the program was stopped and trailers were taken off-screen immediately.

It added: “We do sincerely apologize for this and for any distress caused and will be reviewing our internal procedures to ascertain how this came to be.”

Bizarrely, there’s been at least one other mix-up similar to the one in Ipswich.

It happened in 2016 after the manager of a movie theater in Concord, California, swapped screens to accommodate increased numbers arriving for the Pixar animation Finding Dory. The result? The theater forgot to change the trailers, and accidentally showed one for Seth Rogen’s R-rated Sausage Party.

Editors' Recommendations

AMC and Regal close all their movie theaters over coronavirus
amc stubs a list subscription service theaters dine in mesquite tx

AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas are shuttering all of their locations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. 

The two largest movie theater chains in North America made separate announcements on Tuesday, March 17. AMC said they would close all 1,000 of its theaters for at least six to 12 weeks, and Regal will close its 542 locations until further notice. 

Read more
Universal Pictures moves to release movies currently in theaters to On Demand
comcast going hollywood looks sell digital movies end year xfinity on demand

The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak is prompting much of America to stay home, and in response to that, one studio is releasing films currently in theaters via On Demand. 

Universal Pictures announced on Monday, March 16, that some of its current films would be released for streaming on Xfinity On Demand starting this week, CNBC reports. The Comcast-owned studio will release movies such as Emma, The Invisible Man, and The Hunt. Troll’s World Tour, set to hit theaters April 10, will debut both in theaters and online on that date. 

Read more
MoviePass vs. AMC Stubs A-List vs. Regal Unlimited vs. Cinemark Movie Club
Battle of the movie ticket sites: How to make sense of the fledgling industry
movie tickets theater

Subscription services for movie tickets are all the rage, although not all services are created equal. On one hand, you have MoviePass, which made this kind of service popular, but dropped from 3 million customers to a paltry 225,000 due to shifting plans, unexpected price hikes, and other minor scandals. On the other, theater-specific upstart AMC Stubs A-List continues to grow, with more than 860,000 subscribers and counting.

Just because those two services are making all the headlines doesn't mean they're the only options for people who go to the movies regularly and want to save a few bucks. Several other movie ticket subscription services are available in the United States. They allow members to get discounted rates on movie tickets every month, and offer a variety of perks and other elements that make them worthy of consideration for anyone who regularly attends movies or would like to do so more often.

Read more