Pete Davidson’s “The King of Staten Island” was pulled unceremoniously – and mysteriously – from the drive-in theater last week, reports Variety.
The semi-autobiographical film, which offers a comic take on SNL star Pete Davidson’s childhood in the borough, was instead released Friday for video only.
“There was no explanation,” from Universal, one drive-in theater owner told the outlet. “They changed their mind.”
Another theater owner told Variety, “This caused a considerable amount of ill will with customers who bought tickets online showing up for Thursday 7 p.m. show. ”
Director Judd Apatow took to Twitter last week to inform eager fans that they would have to wait until Friday to see the film – at home.
“THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND IS ONLY OPENING ON VOD FRIDAY. IT IS NOT OPENING IN THEATERS. ”
“Insiders” at Universal blamed the change on an internal misunderstanding, Variety said.
“The King of Staten Island” was always intended to premiere exclusively on-demand, however, some executives unintentionally booked the film in about 100 theaters, “an unnamed source is quoted as saying.
“When they realized the mistake, the studio went back to theaters and asked them not to play it.”
This is not the first time that Universal has taken a film away from theater owners.
In April the studio decided to forego the release of “Trolls World Tour” to all movie theaters and instead sent it straight Video-on-demand. Costing many major film house hundreds in ticket sales.