When you hear of an Iron Man 3 stunt going wrong, you immediately think safety harnesses breaking on-set, a car-crash scene taking a turn for a worst or Robert Downey Jr putting his body on the line, don't you? Well, think again because somebody, somewhere, thought it was a decent idea to have men carrying assault weapons around a movie theater in Missouri to promote the latest Marvel movie.

According to Yahoo Movies, a promotion by the Goodrich Capital 8 theatre in Jefferson City featuring actors dressed up as S.H.I.E.L.D, the superhero agency from Marvel Comics that feature in Iron Man. However, the performance unsurprisingly caused several members of the public to make panicked calls to the police, in light of the shooting at the cinema in Aurora, Colorado during the Batman: Dark Knight Rises screening. US Army veteran John Morlock told ABC 17 News, "We had just finished watching 'Iron Man 3'. We're just getting into the car when I spotted a man in full assault gear, carrying what appeared to be a modified M-4 and 9 mm on his side."

"We received a series of 911 calls stating that a man dressed in all black and body armor and a rifle was walking into Capital 8 Theaters," said Captain Doug Shoemaker from the Jefferson City Police Department. "Everything was in place, it's the opening night of a superhero movie, it's somebody walking in all-dark clothes, everything pointed to bad things about to happen. There's really no good that can come of this."

Watch a news report on the Iron Man 3 Stunt

Bob Wilkins, manager of the theatre chain, apologized to cinemagoers who were not warned about the performance. "We apologize and are sympathetic to those who felt they were in harm's way with our character promotion for 'Iron Man 3'," he said in a statement. "This was not a publicity stunt. We have worked with the Cosplacon group on many movies to dress up and help entertain our customers. We have had many complaints about the members dressed specifically as S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives carrying fake guns."

Iron Man 3 has now reached total earnings of $284.9 million after 10 days on release in North America. It should add to that amount considerably this weekend despite the competition of Star Trek Into Darkness. 

Robert Downey JrBen Kingsley
Robert Downey Jr [L] and Ben Kingsley [R] At The Iron Man 3 Premiere In London