I think Yondu’s (Michael Rooker) face is a good indication of how cinema goers facial expressions looked, when they expected to watch Guardians of the Galaxy, and instead were shown the 2012 animated film, Rise of the Guardians. I reckon someone was in a lot of trouble.
The incident happened in not one, but two Regal cinemas in the US, and Variety reported the news:
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.
— Regal Cinemas (@RegalMovies) August 1, 2014
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.