Iron Man stunt goes wrong, Publicity stunts can be risky. They can successfully brand an entity, embedding it in its customers' minds, or if can epically fail, causing the entire product to flop. Sometimes they can even generate a lot of unwanted attention, especially from the law. In a recent publicity stunt for "Iron Man 3," moviegoers in Missouri called the police when they saw what they thought was a man carrying an assault weapon into a movie theater.
But what looked like disaster was nothing more than an innocent
promotion from the management of Goodrich Capital 8 Theater in Jefferson
City, according to Yahoo News.
The promotion featured actors dressed to look like members of
S.H.I.E.L.D., the superhero agency from Marvel Comics. S.H.I.E.L.D.
appears in the "Iron Man" and "Avengers" films.
It's easy to see why some moviegoers may have reacted the way they
did. With the Aurora, Colorado shooting still fresh on people's minds,
it's no wonder those in attendance called the police. If anything, it's
surprising the theatre didn't approach the promotion with more
sensitivity. The S.H.I.E.L.D. members should have dressed at their
station, once inside the theatre. Of course people are going to react
strongly to a man, decked out in full combat gear, casually strolling
into a crowded movie theatre.
John Morlock, a US Army veteran, told ABC "we
had just finished watching 'Iron Man 3.' 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 9 mm on his side."
"We received a series of 911 calls stating that a man dressed in all
black and body armor and a rifle was walking into Capitol 8 Theaters,"
said Captain Doug Shoemaker from the Jefferson City Police Department.
"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 theatre manager apologized to the moviegoers, stating that he
realized his mistakes and will make sure that it doesn't happen again.
There's not way around it. The moviegoers who called the police did
exactly the right thing. Even if the costume wasn't as believable, if
you see an armed man walk into a movie theater, call 911. Hopefully
theaters around the country will use this incident as an example to
prevent similar incidents.