New Line kills racy ‘Scared’ promo

Mini-major pulls plug on X-rated site game

With no fanfare, New Line has ended its brief foray into X-rated entertainment by pulling the plug on its promotional gambit for “Running Scared.”

Mini-major attempted to generate buzz for “Running Scared” via an online game called “Welcome to Grimley,” in which players re-enacted action scenes including Paul Walker’s character performing oral sex. Each level of play was preceded by a movie clip to set up the action, and the site included an exclusive debut of the first six minutes of “Running Scared.”

Despite a complex age check designed to block participation by anyone under 17 years old, the National Institute on Media and the Family had issued two warnings to parents about the game and had asked the studio to take it down. New Line pulled the sexual part of the game from the site Friday, the day the film opened, without explanation.

Studio apparently felt it had drawn whatever promotional interest it could in the game by then, and didn’t want to deal with continued interest group pressure.

At any rate, the ploy didn’t translate into a significant number of customers as “Scared” grossed an underwhelming $3.4 million in its opening weekend.