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N.Y. theater pulls trailer for ‘United 93’

Viewers complained that promo for 9/11-based film was too upsetting
/ Source: The Associated Press

A New York City movie theater has pulled the trailer for “United 93,” which chronicles in real time the hijacked United Airlines flight that crashed in Western Pennsylvania on Sept. 11.

The AMC Loews Lincoln Square 12 theater in Manhattan said it made the decision after viewers complained they found it too upsetting.

“I don’t think people are ready for this,” theater manager Kevin Adjodha said.

“One lady was crying,” Adjodha told Newsweek. “She was saying that we shouldn’t have played the trailer. That this was wrong.”

Universal Studios in Los Angeles, meanwhile, said it would go ahead with plans to show the trailer for the thriller, which is scheduled to open in theaters on April 28.

Adam Fogelson, Universal’s president of marketing, said the trailer would be shown only before R-rated movies or “grown-up” PG-13 ones.

“The film is not sanitized or softened, it’s an honest and real look” at the events of Flight 93, Fogelson told The New York Times in Tuesday editions. “If I sanitized the trailer beyond what’s there, am I suggesting that the experience will be less real than what the movie itself is? We as a company feel comfortable that it is a responsible and fair way to show what’s coming.”

“United 93” is scheduled to make its world premiere on the Tribeca Film Festival’s opening night. The festival, which was created to help lower Manhattan recover economically from the attacks, begins April 25 and runs through May 7.

The trailer begins with images of passengers boarding the plane on a sunny morning, and builds to a disturbing scene that includes actual news video of a plane about to hit one of the World Trade Center towers. It then returns inside Flight 93 as terrorists begin hijacking it and a passenger calls his family to tell them of the impending disaster.

The Flight 93 National Memorial will receive a part of the box-office revenue from the movie. The Families of Flight 93 have said that Universal Pictures will donate 10 percent of the first three days’ grosses to the memorial.

The plane crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pa., as passengers tried to take control of the cockpit. The plane was en route from Newark, N.J. to San Francisco.

A made-for-TV film about the hijacking, “Flight 93,” drew 5.9 million viewers when it aired on A&E in January, making it the network’s most-watched program ever. The Discovery Channel also re-enacted the events in the documentary “The Flight That Fought Back.”

The trailer is being shown on about 3,000 screens across the United States.

In place of the trailer, some movie theaters are showing a promotional spot about the making of “United 93,” explaining the thinking and methodology behind it.