Pete Davidson's The King Of Staten Island Pulled From Theaters
Audiences expecting to see the big-screen collaboration between comedy king Judd Apatow and Saturday Night Live's Pete Davidson got a rude awakening after Universal pulled the film just two days before it was set to release.
With most theaters still closed nationwide and few new releases available in the country's handful of open indoor and drive-in establishments, audiences are starved for new movie material. So it's no surprise that those who purchased tickets for Thursday night and weekend screenings of Davidson's semi-autobiographical dramedy were angry when they discovered their tickets had been refunded. News of the cancellations first came on the Thursday before The King of Staten Island's opening weekend, when establishments like the Warwick Drive-In in New York and the Rustic Tri View Drive-In in Rhode Island began posting their refund policies and announcing the nixed screenings.
To address fans' concerns, Apatow took to Twitter to try to clarify the situation. "THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND IS ONLY OPENING ON VOD FRIDAY. IT IS NOT OPENING IN THEATERS," the Freaks and Geeks and Pineapple Express producer tweeted. In response to a Twitter user who pointed out it was scheduled to appear at their local theater, Apatow replied that it was "a mistake."
Variety reports that the screening cancellations weren't the fault of theater owners, who were also in the dark about the move. One anonymous independent theater owner even told the outlet that "there was no explanation" about the step and that the studio merely "changed their mind." Insiders at the studio confirmed this, revealing that the last-minute decision to pull The King of Staten Island was the result of a major mix-up linked to Universal's controversial video-on-demand release strategy.