'Hangover 2' Trailer Pulled From Theaters: I Smell a PR Stunt

Linda Sharps
2

I wouldn't say I'm breathless with anticipation over the summer release of The Hangover Part II, but I'm sure I'll see it eventually. The first one was one of those rare ridiculously crass comedies that fully embraces the formula and successfully runs away with it. It's a surprisingly well done, very funny, very bad movie. Terribeawesome, you might say.

The problem is, when you have one wildly successful film that relies on a specific series of clichés, raunchy jokes, and over-the-top scenarios, how do you follow up with a sequel? As most people would agree after seeing the extended trailer for The Hangover Part II, it looks exactly like the first one—only set in Bangkok instead of Vegas.

Hardcore fans will pay their ticket price no matter what, but execs still need to get people in the door on opening weekend. If you ask me, Warner Bros figured out a brilliant solution: dramatically pull the trailer from theaters, causing a wave of fresh interest in the film.

The MPAA and Warner Bros have taken the unusual step of demanding that the new extended trailer be pulled from theaters immediately. Slashfilm obtained a copy of the letter sent to theaters, which reads:

Warner Bros. and the M.P.A.A. have instructed all theatres to remove The Hangover Part II trailer #2 from Source Code and any other placements. These #2 trailers need to be DELETED FROM YOUR SERVER. We greatly appreciate your immediate cooperation on this matter.

That's ... weird, right? Why did they specifically mention Source Code, I wonder? Is there something about the demographic of a sci-fi action thriller Jake Gyllenhaal vehicle that creates a particularly easily-offended audience member?

Warner Bros has issued a statement regarding the trailer's abrupt removal:

In our haste to meet the placement schedule for this trailer, we failed to properly vet the final version with the MPAA. We acted immediately to correct the mistake and removed the trailer from screens.

SO MANY QUESTIONS. Was it the salty language? Cooper's piercing blue eyes, soooo dreamy? The monkey simulating fellatio? The use of the word "wenis"? I bet it was the monkey.

Actually, I bet it was a clever PR stunt. After fans complained about how similar the trailer looks to the first film, Director Todd Phillips was sure to mention in an interview with CinemaCon how the trailer was too PG-13 to accurately portray the movie's terribeawesome factor:

CC: Do you know what you're going to do for the commercials so they don't give away too much?

Phillips: Well, I mean, the truth is we're constrained by the fact that we're R-rated, so you can't give -- even the trailer you just saw, that's a PG-13 trailer, so by the nature of the movie, we're holding so much stuff back just because you can't show it. So believe me, you won't believe the R-rated surprises that exist in "The Hangover" that you won't see touched on in commercials or trailers, really.

Uh huh. And now we're supposed to be all titillated, since if the trailer is forbidden by the MPAA, god only knows what sort of raunch lies within. Well played, Warner Bros. WHY CAN'T I FANDANGO MY TICKET RIGHT NOW?

Here's the offensive trailer in question, which you won't be enjoying in theaters, at least not any theaters showing Jake Gyllenhaal movies:



What do you think, was it really too much for a PG-13 audience?


Image via IMDB


Read More