Movie Theater Accidentally Shows Paranormal Activity 4 Instead of Madagascar 3

"All you could hear were children crying and screaming. Everyone was very upset."

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Dean Hendler / Paramount Pictures

There’s a school of thought that suggests that children can deal with horror stories better than grownups normally expect. That said, NewsFeed suspects that few movie theaters would intentionally put that theory to the test.

At the Cineworld movieplex in the British town of Nottingham, a theater full of families ready to watch the kid-friendly animated adventure Madagascar 3 were instead treated to a screening of the horror film Paranormal Activity 4.

(MORE: Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted: Cirque de Berserk)

Almost immediately, as many as 25 families rushed their kids out of the theater, but not before a gruesome opening sequence — in which a bloodied female corpse is thrown at the camera — was witnessed by children as young as five. “They started playing the movie and I thought – this doesn’t look right,” Natasha Lewis, mother of eight-year-old Dylan, told Yahoo UK. “Everybody just scrambled for the exits, all you could hear were children crying and screaming. Everyone was very upset.”

A clearly mortified Cineworld immediately tried to make amends. “All customers who were affected by the incident were offered refunds and complimentary tickets,” a spokesperson said. “We also invited customers to watch the screening of Madagascar 3 half an hour later.”

The Cineworld representative blamed the incident on “a technical error with the projector,” and promised to look into the issue. “We take matters such as this very seriously and are currently working with technicians to ensure this does not happen again.”

FRIDAY FLICKS: Does the World Really Need a Paranormal Activity 4?