Warner Bros. is moving forward with its rollout for “San Andreas” despite the earthquake in Nepal that killed 5,200 people.
A studio spokesperson told Variety that the company considered changing the release date for the disaster movie, but ultimately decided to stick with its planned summer debut. “San Andreas” centers on a devastating earthquake that ravages much of California; it premieres Stateside on May 29 and should bow in most major international markets by mid-June.
“We will continue to evaluate our worldwide marketing campaign to ensure that we are sensitive to those affected by this tragic event,” a studio spokesman said in a statement to Variety.
In response to the devastation in Nepal, promotional materials for “San Andreas” will include information about ways in which people can participate in relief efforts. The studio already had a PSA campaign planned to give people tips about how to prepare for natural disasters. Those plans were accelerated, and the messaging was adjusted and expanded to include information about Nepal. Trailers and poster art, however, will not be changed, according to individuals with knowledge.
Warner Bros. isn’t the only studio faced with public relations challenges after the 7.8-magnitude quake left thousands of people in Nepal homeless and in need of aid. Universal is releasing “Everest,” a film about a 1996 Mount Everest expedition that ended in disaster. The earthquake in Nepal resulted in an avalanche on the mountain that left at least 18 people dead. “Everest” opens on Sept. 18, a date that Universal intends to stick with, but the studio is still weighing whether to make changes to its marketing campaign in light of the events.
At a corporate level, Warner Bros.’ parent company, Time Warner, will match any donations its employees make to disaster relief in Nepal and has distributed a list of eligible charities.