PROVO — Authorities and movie theater companies are taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of movie goers during the opening weekend of “Joker”.
The movie contains dark themes that invoke memory of the mass shooting that occurred in Aurora, Colorado in 2012, where a man, dressed as the joker, killed 12 people and injured 70 during the opening night of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
The U.S. military released a warning, alerting service members that there could be potential violence when “Joker” hits theaters. Two movie theater companies, Landmark and AMC, have reiterated their rules banning masks, face paint, and even costumes in preparation for their screenings. Another theater company, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, is calling in additional security for the opening weekend.
Media effects expert, Kevin John says, “We have to decide what we’re willing to support and 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.”
In response to the controversy, Warner Bros. released a statement saying, “Make no mistake: neither the fictional character Joker, nor the film, is an indorsement 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.”
Despite the backlash, Warner Bros. expect the movie to have a successful opening weekend, and only the box office numbers on Monday will tell.