By now, everyone pretty much expects phone numbers in movies and on TV to start with 555.
So for viewers of “Bruce Almighty,” it was unusual that when God pages Jim Carrey’s character, he leaves a callback number with a 776 prefix.
It was especially surprising for Florida resident Dawn Jenkins, who happens to share the number. Jenkins’ cell phone has been getting about 20 calls per hour since “Bruce” was released, with callers asking for God before hanging up.
Jenkins said she’s considering hiring a lawyer.
How could Universal allow such a slip-up?
In an official statement, U said that because “Bruce Almighty” is set in Buffalo, N.Y., “a phone number depicted in the film (which does not contain an area code) was specifically chosen because it does not exist in the Buffalo area.”
The studio wouldn’t answer why it hadn’t checked whether the phone number was used elsewhere in the country.
But a studio exec did say, “The movie makes it clear several times that the action is taking place in Buffalo. It has nothing to do with where the film is released, it’s where the film is set.”
The number from “Bruce” also corresponds to a number for a woman in South Carolina, who said she’s been getting “aggravated to death” by the incessant calling, according to the AP.
A call center for five talk-radio stations in Colorado also uses the number.
A movie doesn’t even have to show a phone number to tie up people’s phone lines. Shortly after last summer’s “Spider-Man” was released, a Peter Parker listed in the New York City phone book (who’s a journalist, not a crime fighter) reported getting numerous calls from curious kids and pranksters asking for the comicbook hero.