Authorities and Movie Theater Companies take precautions for “Joker”

The highly anticipated movie “Joker” opens
tomorrow and premieres at certain theaters tonight. Newsline reporter Taylor
Hansen joins us now. Taylor, this opening was not without some controversy. That’s
right. The release of “Joker” has come under scrutiny as its dark themes
create fear of violence and even shootings at it screenings. Authorities
and movie theater companies are taking every precaution to keep movie goers
safe during the opening of the “Joker.” The movie, which won the Golden Lion for the
best film at the Venice International Film Festival in Italy earlier this
month, contains dark themes invoking memories
of the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado in 2012, where a man dressed as the
Joker killed 12 people and injured 70 during the opening of “The Dark Knight
Rises.” “There’s an idea called priming. When we’re exposed to something, then it
becomes top of mind for us. And so when we start talking about violence and
threats of violence around the movie “Joker,” to a certain extent, we create this
situation ourselves, where all of a sudden it’s like well I’m not going to
go to the theater because something violent is going to happen there. And it
just spreads and it spreads and it spreads.” With the fear of copycat attacks,
the U.S. military has released warnings, alerting service members that there may
be potential violence. “Within reason, it’s probably a good idea, obviously with
something that is definitely taking a darker theme like the “Joker” would.” Both
Landmark and AMC Theaters have banned masks and face paint from being worn at
their screenings, and theaters like the Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse cinema are
bringing in additional security. “And you want to avoid, of course, any possible
danger, but I mean at the same time, it’s a tricky situation in general.” Warner
Brothers issued a statement in response to the controversy saying, “Make no
mistake; neither the fictional character Joker, nor the film is an endorsement of
real-world violence of any kind. It is not the intention of the film, the
filmmakers or the studio to hold this character up as a hero.”
“And we have to decide what we’re willing to support, what we’re willing to buy
into as a society, because it’s going to have an impact. It’s going to have
ramifications. And unfortunately, we can’t predict those.”
Despite the controversy, Warner Brothers is expecting a successful opening
weekend for the movie. Only the numbers will tell when they come out on Monday.
Thanks, Taylor.

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