Killing Leads to Marketing Shift

 

Real-life events occasionally have forced Hollywood studios to tweak a film's marketing campaign or change a release date. So when the Trayvon Martin shooting by a neighborhood watch captain in Florida exploded onto the national scene in mid-March, Fox quickly moved to pull the teaser poster and trailer for its July comedy Neighborhood Watch from theaters in that state. The film's storyline -- about four bumbling neighborhood watch volunteers who fight off an alien invasion -- has nothing to do with the Martin case, but concerns were raised about a poster featuring a bullet-riddled sign and a teaser trailer that shows Jonah Hill riding in a car with co-stars Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn while shooting at a group of teenagers with his hand. "These initial marketing materials were released before this incident ever came to light," says a spokesman for Fox, which will replace the materials with images focusing on comedic elements of the story. "The teaser materials were part of an early phase of our marketing and were never planned for long-term use. Above all else, our thoughts go out to the families touched by this terrible event."

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