And the Oscar for awkwardest international release date ever goes to Clint Eastwood's "Hereafter," the glamorous, fear-profitting tsunami flick that dropped in Japan on February 19, 2011.
Three weeks later, as we're now brutally aware, news cameras captured a real-live version of massive wipeout by wave across the coast of Japan -- outdoing everything Warner Brothers Entertainment ever could have rendered.
Even more awkwardly, making-of advertisements for the film's DVD release were still airing on L.A. news networks through the first of the Japan coverage...
... Like: Look how lifelike we made the water droplets! Cringe:
Warner Brothers probably thought they did a fine job dodging the "too soon" bullet by waiting a whopping seven years to recreate the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed at least 230,000. Unfortunately, no one could predict the next Big One was about to roll out -- and to such devastating effect.
Yesterday, Warner Brothers official Satoru Otani told BBC News that "Hereafter's terrifying tsunami scenes were 'not appropriate' at this time."
Understatement of the century. And still, the film was playing in 180 theaters across Japan up until two days ago.
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To partially make up for the awkwardness, Contact Music reports that:
Clint Eastwood and bosses at the Warner Bros. studio have now stepped forward and offered to help those affected by the disaster by donating money from the film's Dvd and Blue-ray sales to the Japanese Red Cross Society.
A statement from the Dirty Harry star reads, "The devastation and loss Japan is facing is almost incomprehensible. I'm glad to join Warner Bros. in this effort to help the Japanese people."
And it's the least they could do. Let's just hope we're not saying the same thing about Battle: Los Angeles a few weeks down the line.