Quick! Shield the children's' eyes! A group of kids in the United Kingdom got more than they bargained for when trailers for Sony's Brightburn and Universal's Ma were screened before a showing of Peppa Pig: Festival of Fun. Both films are horror projects and rated R for violence, cursing, disturbing imagery, sexual overtones, and a whole host of other adult-oriented entertainment not suitable for younger audiences.
According to the BBC, parents were sure to remove their children from the theater until both trailers were finished playing out on the screen at the Empire Cinema in Ipswich.
"Normally I would expect her to be singing and dancing when watching something like [Peppa Pig], but she was just really subdued," said Charlie Jones, a journalist who had hoped to enjoy Peppa with her 2-year-old daughter and 10-month-old son, per the BBC. "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."
Produced by James Gunn, Brightburn is basically a dark take on the Superman myth, asking what would have happened if Clark Kent had turned evil as a child. Produced by Blumhouse, Ma stars Octavia Spencer as a woman creepily obsessed with a group of teens. Just today, it was reported that Spencer wanted to take on "something f**ked up" for her first horror role.
You can check out both trailers below:
A spokeswoman for Empire Cinemas issued a statement, apologizing for the unfortunate mix-up:
"As soon as the staff on site were made aware of the situation, the program was stopped and trailers were taken off-screen immediately. 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."
The whole affair is entirely similar to an incident last year when the trailer for Ari Aster's Hereditary was being shown before screenings of the family-friendly Peter Rabbit.
In America, Brightburn opens in theaters Memorial Day Weekend on Friday, May 24. Ma arrives just a week later, on Friday, May 31.
Created by Neville Astley and Mark Baker, Peppa Pig first aired in 2004, soon becoming a major kid-oriented multimedia franchise that began as an educational series for preschoolers. The premise is pretty simple: Peppa and her younger brother George go on educational adventures with their friends and loved ones. Domestically, the show airs on Nick Jr.