Robot 6

Theater hires ‘gunmen’ for ‘Iron Man 3′ publicity stunt

missouri-iron man

Less than a year after a masked gunman killed 12 people and wounded 58 others at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, the management of a Missouri theater paid an actor — or, rather, actors — dressed in tactical gear and carrying fake guns to walk into the multiplex last weekend to promote the opening of Iron Man 3. Needless to say, it wasn’t well-received by everyone, including the police.

Columbia, Missouri’s ABC 17 News reports Jefferson City police responded to a series of 911 calls from moviegoers stating “that a man dressed in all black and body armor and a rifle was walking into Capital 8 Theaters.” However, instead of confronting the active shooter that they expected, Capt. Doug Shoemaker said police arrived to find a publicity stunt orchestrated by the theater.

“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,” he told the news station. “There’s really no good that can come of this.”

According to a commenter on the station’s website, the theater actually hired multiple actors, including one in an Iron Man costume, to appear over several evenings, and that, “Their fake guns were obviously plastic, with bright orange tips and one with a completely clear outer case.” Although the news coverage doesn’t reflect any of that, there are photos from at least one of the nights (via Reddit) showing the actors posing together.

Theater manager Bob Wilkins is unapologetic, and apparently oblivious to the tragedy that could have unfolded at the premiere. He told ABC 17 he had no regrets about the publicity stunt, which had been planned well in advance of the screening. “No, my job is to entertain people,” he said.

Shoemaker, whose department held an active-shooter training at the theater only months earlier, said it was fortunate an off-duty officer wasn’t at the multiplex, as the cop likely would’ve engaged the “gunman.” It’s not difficult to imagine how events might’ve unfolded from there.

“It’s an unfortunate lack of wisdom in this particular judgment that hopefully will never occur again,” Shoemaker concluded.

(via Gawker)




Yeah, wow. I just can’t understand how this seemed like a good idea to anyone.

Smart Internet Man

May 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm

here’s a thought: CHILL THE FUCK OUT.

People had fake guns at FCBD all over the country. Cosplayers will have fake guns at every convention. It’s hard for me to be too critical of this theater manager.

Tough call, but a little discretion would have helped…

It doesn’t matter if it has an orange tip. If you see a gunman walking into any building, are you going to stop and evaluate his weapon for its orangeness, or are you going to do the smart thing and get to safety (and phone the authorities)?

Here’s a “tip”: put the weapons in a bag, then enter the building. If the person with the bag is questions (as most movie theaters are now requiring), then have him meet a manager at the lobby as an escort.

Here’s a thing: I don’t go to movie theaters for cosplayers or the managers to entertain me, I go for the movie to entertain me.

@Smartinternetman and AW:tell the families of the victims and the survivors of the Colorado shooting To Chill the F..Out face to face.The fact that the police entering the movie theater actually wasted time trying to determine if it was real and didn’t immediately arrest everyone involved shows gross misjudgement and incompetence on their part as well.This begs a lawsuit at several levels.

Yeah, just a bad lack of judgement. I get getting a guy dressed up as Iron Man but why the gunmen?

Doctor Timebomb

May 10, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Dude, SHIELD’s not even in the movie.

Truth unleashed

May 10, 2013 at 2:07 pm

That would have been cool as hell!! So just because of that one event people are supposed to live in fear for the rest of their lives!!? Let it go and move on! Man Americans need to stop feeling so damn entitled and sheltered! Shit like that happens all the time everywhere, you need to get over it and move on! Yes grieve and suffer and cry and whatnot for a little while it’s healthy, but to live the whole rest of your life acting all damaged n traumatized is just wasting your life!! Don’t ruin everything for everyone else!! Bottle up in your own home and stop ruining the fun for everyone else!! This is a messed up world we live in! Crazy scary unexplainable shit happens, people die and suffer all the time every day!! The more you learn and accept that fact the easier life will be and you will suffer or hurt a little less!! It’s a really ugly and sad and scary fact that that’s how it is but that’s reality whether you like it or not!!

Poor taste…. Iron Man suits? Great… SHIELD cosplayers? I can dig it….. brandishing fake guns? that’s where the idea goes off the rails. Sure you get publicity for the theater..but get ready for just as much backlash…

The downside to the popularity of the movies for me is: 50 years of comics and the non-comic crowd thinks Nick Fury is Sam Jackson. Not a huge negative but as a long time fan of the character, the movies would prefer Mark Millar’s vision over Jack Kirby and Jim Steranko stings a little.

I find this interesting because after the Aurora Theater shooting a lot of movie theaters wanted to ban cosplay. The cosplay community fired back that there was a difference between cosplay and tactical body armor. Ironically, in this case the confusion was caused by hiring people to cosplay in tactical body armor.

I think this whole mess could have been avoided if the theater manager had hired people to dress as the “suit and sunglasses” style SHIELD agent or even the jumpsuit wearing SHIELD Helicarrier bridge style agent. Of course, that is 20/20 hindsight at work.

God bless America. A country where if you see someone carrying an assault weapon you automatically assume crazed killer and not guy in costume because every cunt has a gun.

The thing is, when you catch something like that at corner of your eye, you have very few seconds to act if it’s real. No one is going to bother going close enough to a maniac to visibly distinguish that the gun is fake or a clear water gun, etc. With something like that, it should be important that the paid actors DO NOT take out their fake weapons until they are all together accompanying Iron Man as a group, so that it is clear that it is a publicity stunt that’s acting as a photo pop in the centre of the theatre lobby.

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