During a screening in Paris of the Joker at the Grand Rex Cinema a man caused some trouble by screaming “Allahu Akbar”, Arabic for “God is Great.” Everyone in the theater became nervous and about 25 people out of the two hundred got up and left. They then finished the screening and evacuated the rest to search for hidden explosives. None were found.
This was all due to an attempt to rob the audience of cell phones and handbags. The man in the theater had an accomplice who he had worked with before and successfully robbed people on a train with the same tactics used here. The director of the Grand Rex Cinema stated, “They were two thieves looking for a way to take people’s phones and bags. Apparently they had already used the same tactic once on a train.”
The suspect was apprehended when several audience members and security piled on top of him. The 34-year-old male residing in the Paris suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt said several times during the film “it’s political” with people shushing him. It was when he started screaming in Arabic that the audience started to panic. A few audience members claimed he had a gun. It should be noted that the man was not Arabic. He was just using the charged environment and known scare tactics to cause unease.
“It was total panic,” a viewer named Victor told Le Parisien. “People jumped over seats and women fell to the ground in the aisles.” – Via The Hollywood Reporter.
So far there have only been minor incidences at screenings of the Joker, which was originally feared to cause unstable people to want to shoot up audiences. Luckily this was just a pair of thieves and the were not armed. The manager of the Rex Theater concluded, “The movie attracts a specific kind of viewer, notably people who are against the system. There have been minor incidents in other theaters.”
What sucks is that Joker has been out long enough and has proved not to be causing the panic that people said it would at first. This is what happens when fear and negative press is used to inspire the bad guys into coming up with some elaborate plot. While it is true that something could have happened even without the worry, the talk about it most certainly caused a ripple effect.
The Joker is in it’s third week in theaters and remains number one at the Parisian box office. Currently the film has grossed $852 million and is on it’s way to beating Venom and Batman v. Superman. It remains on of the top watched films in America and should keep rolling in the ticket sales until it’s last day in theaters.
Source: Hollywood Reporter