The newspaper quoted Phoenix police Sgt. Joel Tranter as saying there was a small element of truth to the tale. One rattler was found in the hallway of a local AMC multiplex, but Tranter said the rattler had likely slithered into the theater on his own. The snake was removed without incident.
The Reuters news service ran a story quoting an AMC spokeswoman as saying two rattlesnakes had been released at a Phoenix theater where "Snakes" was playing.
"Snakes on a Plane" was last weekend's top-grossing film, but its $15.2 million box-office bite was a disappointment for a film that has been buzzed about on the Internet for months.
The campy horror flick, however, which cost about $30 million to make, should eventually turn a profit for distributor New Line.
The Samuel L. Jackson thriller, about a plane sabotaged by bad guys unloosing a pack of killer snakes, did not meet the lofty expectations created by the early swell of chat-room excitement and fan-generated trailers and gushing praise.
The studio expected the film to top $20 million its opening week.