Courtesy 20th Century Fox

'Neighborhood Watch' and Six Other Poorly Timed Film Releases

  1. Film Openings Spoiled by Real Events

    Film Openings Spoiled by Real Events

    As 20th Century Fox (NWSA) pulls trailers and ads for the summer comedy Neighborhood Watch, following the death of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, we consider some other Hollywood victims of unfortunate timing.

    Courtesy 20th Century Fox
  2. 'Neighborhood Watch'

    'Neighborhood Watch'

    After Trayvon Martin was killed by community watch participant George Zimmerman on Feb. 26, Fox withdrew trailers and advertising materials for Neighborhood Watch, starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn, and scheduled it for release on July 27.

  3. 'The Men Who Stare at Goats'

    'The Men Who Stare at Goats'

    In The Men Who Start at Goats, a disturbed soldier fires at troops during morning exercises in Fort Bragg. The film was released on Nov. 6, 2009, a day after Major Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 people and wounded 29 others at Fort Hood. It was too late to alter the movie.

    Courtesy Everett Collection
  4. 'Sex and the City 2'

    'Sex and the City 2'

    In the 2010 sequel, which began production just months after the start of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the thriftless New York fashionistas took their swanky shenanigans to Abu Dhabi, spending like it was 1999. Despite this breach in taste—and a humiliating critical reception—the film made $288.3 million worldwide.

    Courtesy Everett Collection
  5. 'Big Trouble'

    'Big Trouble'

    Scheduled for release in late 2001, the Barry Sonnenfeld comedy Big Trouble, based on the novel by Dave Barry, was postponed to April 2002 due to a scene in which an atomic bomb is smuggled onto a hijacked airliner. The film, which had a production budget of $40 million and an impressive cast, was barely promoted and grossed only $8.5 million globally.

    Courtesy Everett Collection
  6. 'Spider-Man'


    Filmmakers had tough decisions to make about scenes in downtown New York after the September 11 attacks. In 2001, Columbia Motion Picture Group (SNE) released a poster and trailer for Spider-Man that featured the World Trade Center. Following 9/11, Columbia decided to remove and revise the posters and movie trailers. The film opened in theaters in May 2002, setting box office records.

    Courtesy Everett Collection
  7. 'Zoolander'


    In Zoolander, Ben Stiller's 2001 satire of the fashion world, which was released two weeks after 9/11, a shot containing the World Trade Center was edited out and a separate shot was altered to obscure the towers.

    Courtesy Everett Collection
  8. 'V for Vendetta'

    'V for Vendetta'

    Just after the Wachowski Brothers' V for Vendetta, which featured terrorist attacks in London, finished filming, the British capital became the target of bombings in July 2005. The movie, originally slated to open on Guy Fawkes Day—Nov. 5, 2005—did not come out until March 2006. "The delay, designed to put some time between the tragedy and the film's release, made nonsense of the widely seen trailer that urged audiences to 'Remember, remember the fifth of November,'" according to The Telegraph.

    Courtesy Everett Collection