20th Century Fox’s newest comedy Let’s Be Cops might not be the breakout hit of the summer, but it is seeing some extra buzz and attention due to some unfortunate timing. The movie, which is more or less a mockery of being an officer, was released the same weekend the protests in Ferguson, Missouri began. As we’ve mentioned in a previous article, the Ferguson protests are turning into one of the most violent confrontations between police and citizens in recent history. It’s not a surprise that crowds aren’t really in the mood to laugh at the goofy antics of two loser-ish thirty year olds whose wishes are all granted for merely donning a police uniform and pretending to be important.
“There probably wasn’t much 20th Century Fox could do about the film’s release,” Vox points out. “The protests didn’t begin in earnest until Monday night, only a little over 24 hours before Let’s Be Cops began midnight screenings.” Perhaps the most awkward part is when the Fox’s marketing tactics overlap with Ferguson news coverage, and tweets promoting the film are posted next to tweets slamming how horrible cops are.
Worst timed film in all time has to be “Let’s be Cops” #Ferguson
— Francisco Cabrera (@fcabrera1) August 16, 2014
Despite timing, Let’s Be Cops will most likely perform well in the box office, as it earned $7 million in early screenings and will see around $30 million in its first week. “It’s a comedy, smartly released at a time when there aren’t a lot of comedies, and Fox could probably scale back its marketing efforts and not lose too many ticket sales because of that counter programming,” Vox points out.
Controversy aside, Let’s Be Cops is still not seeing rave reviews and mostly being labeled as another silly Wayans brothers comedy. As Slate points out:
This silly story could have been made into a smart satire that comments upon power and what a little bit of it can do to a person, as well as how race and gender factor into the dynamics between police and civilians; It doesn’t even attempt to do that. Let’s Be Cops is an exercise in the advantage of being a white male—you can pretty much do anything you want and escape punishment for it.
Let’s Be Cops is in theaters nationwide now.
— HitFix (@HitFix) August 16, 2014
Image via Vox