This image was lost some time after publication. reports that yesterday's story about the two rattlesnakes allegedly released into a Phoenix theater showing Snakes on a Plane may have been a hoax. According to police, a blog-savvy serpent probably tried to catch a screening on its own to make up its simple, reptilian mind about whether the film's pre-release hype was warranted, and may not have been let loose into the theater by overzealous fans eager to help their fellow moviegoers replicate the claustrophobic terror felt by the fictional passengers of South Pacific Air Flight 121:

Police say reports that rattlesnakes were let loose during a showing of Snakes on a Plane at a north Phoenix theater have taken moviegoers for a ride.

There is some shred of truth to the story, Phoenix police Sgt. Joel Tranter said. A 10-inch-long rattlesnake was found Friday in a hallway at AMC Desert Ridge 18, near Tatum Boulevard and Loop 101. But it likely slithered inside on its own, Tranter said.

A security guard swept the snake outside and held it in a Tupperware container until a member of the Arizona Herpetological Association could take it away. Snake handlers had been called earlier in the day to retrieve a rattler from outside the theater.

An AMC spokeswoman told the news organization Reuters that the rumors were true, but Tranter has been refuting the story to news outlets from across the U.S.

Our hats are off once again to New Line's innovative, boundary-transgressing marketing team; arranging for the attempted, in-theater snake attacks was inspired, but bribing both the police and AMC reps to offer buzz-perpetuating, conflicting stories to the media was a diabolical masterstroke.