The Trayvon Martin shooting is a tragedy any way you look at it, and it's also the latest incident that is going to affect the roll-out of a movie. (That sounds horribly insensitive, but let's just assume that I want to talk about movies instead of ruminating on horrible real-world events.) Spider-Man famously had to have a teaser re-worked and a poster recalled after 9/11 as they prominently featured the Twin Towers, and there have been a few other films that have been delayed out of sensitivity to contemporaneous tragedies. It seems unlikely that Fox is actually going to delay the release of their big summer comedy, Neighborhood Watch, but it's already moving to at least appear cognizant of the fact that it might not be a good idea to market it heavily in Florida right this second.
Because someone apparently might think that Fox, in the two weeks since the shooting occurred, greenlit and made a film intended to mock it (and to be fair, we're talking about Floridians here), the studio is going to some lengths to ensure that everyone knows that that's not the case, removing their teaser poster and trailer from Florida theaters until the whole thing theoretically dies down a bit. As they told The Hollywood Reporter:
We are very sensitive to the Trayvon Martin case, but our film is a broad alien-invasion comedy and bears absolutely no relation to the tragic events in Florida. The movie, which is not scheduled for release for several months, was made and these initial marketing materials were released before this incident ever came to light. The teaser materials were part of an early phase of our marketing and were never planned for long-term use. Above all else, our thoughts go out to the families touched by this terrible event.
The film, which features Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill as neighborhood patrol members who stumble across an alien invasion, isn't intended for release until July 27, and the studio apparently has no intention of pushing that date backwards, as they probably would be forced to do if the shooting had taken place in, say, late June.
Still, good on them for at least realizing that it'd be a bad idea to appear to be cashing in on a hot-button issue. If the Martin case continues to be an issue of conversation through the summer, though, say if there's some kind of trial that plays out or god forbid more violence, one can only imagine what Fox's reaction will be.