Theater hires 'gunmen' to promote Iron Man 3, terrifies audience instead

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May 11, 2013, 2:48 PM EDT (Updated)

In which one theater learns the hard way how NOT to promote a summer blockbuster.

Why did Jefferson City, Mo., 911 operators receive a number of scared calls from people after they watched Iron Man 3? Answer -- because a local theater hired some people to dress up in tactical gear and run into a crowded theater with their fake weapons drawn!

The plan to promote Marvel's latest summer movie did not turn out as the theater expected. Captain Doug Shoemaker likened the event to real-life shootings like the one in Aurora, Colo., saying, "Everything was in place, it's the opening night of a superhero movie, it's somebody walking in all-dark clothes, everything pointed to bad things about to happen. There's really no good that can come of this."

The weapons may not have been real, but army vet John Molock's PTSD sure was. "We're just getting into the car when I spotted a man in full assault gear, carrying what appeared to be a modified M-4 and 9mm on his side." Good thing he (or anyone else, for that matter) wasn't carrying any real weapons of their own at the time.

But don't tell that to theater manager Bob Wilkins, who insists, "My job is to entertain people," while noting that only "a few" moviegoers were bothered by the incident.

We can't say we'd give this kind of theater stunt a glowing review, but what do you think? Good marketing or dangerous game?

(via Gawker)

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