Guardians of the Galaxy

Fans of “Guardians of the Galaxy” were surprised to find themselves watching “Rise of the Guardians” instead of the new Marvel film Thursday night.

Regal Entertainment Group remained silent on its mishap, which caught moviegoers at two different theaters by surprise when they saw “Rise of the Guardians,” the 2012 animated feature from DreamWorks Animation, rather than “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the new superhero film featuring Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana, on the bigscreen. Regal did not respond to several requests for comment, however produced a mea culpa on Twitter, apologizing to one fan who called the company out on social media.

Reports have surfaced that at least two theaters, one in Richmond, VA and another in Turnersville, New Jersey, both had the same issue.

A person familiar with theatrical distribution said that this incident was a digital operator error and that a film from 2012 should not have even been present on the theater’s servers. Upon further investigation, both theaters seem to have children’s summer film series, which is how “Rise of the Guardians” came to be in the theater’s current systems.

Marvel and DreamWorks both declined to comment on the incident, however someone close to Marvel noted that if this was a serious issue, the Kevin Feige-led studio would be in uproar.

Deluxe Entertainment provides the drives for “Guardians of the Galaxy.” The two theater operators are 250 miles away from one another.

The $170 million “Guardians” debuted to the highest Thursday opening of the year with $11.2 million and early Friday afternoon estimates placed the Marvel film opening weekend at $90 million.

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