London Theater Pranks Moviegoers By Starting ‘La La Land’ At ‘Moonlight’ Screening

Moonlight La La Land
A24; Lionsgate

The Oscar Best Picture mixup at the 89th Academy Awards, where La La Land was mistakenly crowned the winner instead of Moonlight, has been making headlines since Sunday night. Poking fun at the gaffe, the London Rio Cinema pranked its moviegoers on Tuesday night by playing 20 seconds of Damien Chazelle’s musical at the start of a screening for Moonlight.

“It wasn’t the actual feature film, but a few seconds from a teaser trailer,” the Rio’s duty manager told Time Out. “Then we shut it down, and did a bit of fumbling to make it look like we made a mistake.”

With the memory of the Best Picture snafu fresh in their minds, the sold-out audience got the joke right away and burst into applause.

Barry Jenkins’ drama took home three Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture. Following its Oscar wins, A24 will expand Barry Jenkins’ drama to 1,500-plus theaters in the U.S. Currently, the movie is playing at 585 venues and grossed $591K last weekend. It’s been on a hot streak since it received eight Oscar nominations, seeing a 39% jump in its total box office, rising from $15.9M to $22.1M. 

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