Iron Man 3 Publicity Stunt Involved People With Fake Guns In A Theater For Some Horrible Reason

This was not a particularly well-thought out idea…

1. The owners of Goodrich Capital 8 Theaters in Jefferson City, Missouri, thought greeting Iron Man 3 audiences with people holding fake guns was a good idea.

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2. The theater had a group of cosplayers dressed like members of S.H.I.E.L.D., the ficitious military branch featured in the movie.

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3. The publicity stunt, though, went sour when customers panicked fearing a James Holmes copycat was storming the theater.

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4. Several called the police, reporting seeing “a man in full assault gear, carrying what appeared to be a modified M-4 and 9 mm on his side.”

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5. ABC 17 interviewed Captain Doug Shoemaker, who was incredibly critical of the theater’s decision:

“We received a series of 911 calls stating that a man dressed in all black and body armor and a rifle was walking into Capital 8 Theaters,” said Capt. Doug Shoemaker.

Officers thought they were responding to an active shooter investigation.

“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,” said Shoemaker. “There’s really no good that can come of this.”

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6. Bob Wilkins, the theater’s manager, said that only a few moviegoers were upset by the stunt and that hundreds were entertained.

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7. The theater seems to bring in a lot of cosplayers around the premieres of their movies, here’s a Facebook album of some of the other events.

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8. According to Captain Shoemaker, the biggest risk the theater took was not in scaring the audience, but causing someone to panic and fire a concealed weapon in self-defense.

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Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Ryan Broderick at

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