The film was at the subject of a controversy when writer/producer Luc Besson accused cinema chain UGC in the French media of boycotting the film by not showing it in their Parisian suburbs cinemas, and thus trying to stop its intended audience from seeing it. UGC replied that they felt their distribution for the film was up to par and that in any case it wasn't Besson's business to decide which cinemas should or should not carry the film.
The film is set in 2016 but many have mistranslated details from the first filn and believe it to be 2013. In the first film the opening script says that social issues forced the goverment to agree to build the wall around District 13 in 2010, a camera shot of the wall in the opening credits show "completed 2010" in French. Then it says "three years later" and the film starts, meaning District 13 is set in 2013 and District 13: Unltimatum is 2016, three years after the events of the first film.