Fact check: False claim links missing movie showtimes to Jan. 6 anniversary

·4 min read

The claim: The only movie showing on Jan. 7 and Jan. 8 is 'The 355'

"The 355," a film in which four agents go on a mission to retrieve a top-secret weapon, premiered Jan. 7.

But in the runup to that release, some social media users claimed something was afoot related to the movie and the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

"Something odd is going on in theaters across the nation on Jan 7 and Jan 8," reads the text of a Facebook post shared Jan. 2. "It appears that the only movie that is going to be showing, Jan 7 and Jan 8, is 'The 355.' Wonder if this has something to do with the press conference Pres. Trump has scheduled for Jan 6?"

Special access for subscribers! Click here to sign up for our fact-check text chat

The post generated close to 400 interactions and over 400 shares in less than a week. Other versions accumulated hundreds more interactions.

But the claim is false.

Representatives from a number of theater chains told USA TODAY other films are playing Jan. 7 and Jan. 8 as well.

USA TODAY reached out to the Facebook users who shared the post for comment.

Other films are playing

Each company has their own way of arranging showtimes, which affect when listings get posted on websites.

Ryan Noonan, spokesperson for AMC Theatres, the largest movie theater chain in the U.S., said in a statement the complete showtime schedules at all AMC locations for the week of Jan. 7-13 were posted Jan. 6.

Besides "The 355," other movies that playing include "Spiderman: No Way Home," "Sing 2," "The King's Man," "American Underdog," "West Side Story" and "The Matrix: Resurrections."

"Our weekly movie showtime scheduling is standard operating procedure at AMC and has been in place for years," Noonan said.

Fact check: Altered image claims to show Ben Affleck wearing anti-Trump T-shirt

Karen Melton, spokesperson for Malco Theatres, which has over 30 locations and 300 screens in several states, said film schedules for Jan. 7-13 were posted on Jan. 4.

"'The 355' from Universal is the only new wide release on January 7, 2022," Melton said. "Of course, all the films from the holiday season will be holding over and playing."

Paul Farnsworth, spokesperson for B&B Theatres, which serves close to 50 locations in the U.S., said films are booked through a negotiations process between various departments. This typically occurs at least once a week.

"We have a great many varied and diverse titles playing on both of those dates (Jan. 7 and Jan. 8) in addition to 'The 355,'" Farnsworth said.

Fact check roundup: Debunking false narratives about the Jan. 6 Capitol riot

In other words, this attempt to shape missing showtimes into a conspiracy theory is nonsense. The showtimes for the coming weekend simply hadn't been posted yet at the time the claim was made.

Farnsworth said the movies playing Jan. 7 and Jan. 8 have nothing to do with former President Donald Trump's decision to hold a press conference, as the poster claims.

Trump had scheduled a press conference at Mar-a-Lago in Florida on Jan. 6, a year after the U.S. Capitol insurrection took place, the Associated Press reported. Trump later canceled the event.

Our rating: False

Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that the only movie showing on Jan. 7 and Jan. 8 is "The 355." Other films, including "Sing 2," "West Side Story" and "Spiderman: No Way Home," are playing on Jan. 7 and Jan. 8.

Our fact-check sources:

Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.

Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: 'The 355' isn't the only movie playing Jan. 7 and Jan. 8

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting