Joker Movie Screening in Paris Evacuated

A Parisian theater evacuated a screening of Joker after an audience member disrupted the screening. According to Le Parisien, the audience member screamed “Allahu Akbar!” — Arabic for “God is great" — in the crowded theater. This caused other audience members to head for the exits, with some claiming in error that the man had a gun. The man was later identified as a 34-year-old resident of the Paris suburb Boulogne-Billancourt. The audience tried to shush the man several times during the film as he kept saying “it’s political” while the movie was screening. About halfway through the film, he began shouting and muttering in Arabic. The man managed to dodge security and escape the theater but was later found and taken into custody by authorities.

The director fo the Grand Rex theater where the incident took place tells The Hollywood Reporter the man staged the incident. It was a distraction while the man and an accomplice robbed the audience. "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," he says. Only 25 of the about 200 audience members left the theater during the incident. The Grand Rex evacuated the other after so to search the theater could for explosives and weapons. They found none. The Grand Rex is pressing charges against the suspect.

As Joker made its way into theaters, some voiced concern that it would inspire acts of violence. This led to increased security in some theaters. No such acts of violence have materialized.

Joker has made more than $850 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time. It is also Warner Bros.'s biggest release of 2019, having broken several records for a film opening in October.

Joker is a grounded origin story for Batman's archnemesis. Joaquin Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck, who descends into madness and emerges as the clown-faced killer known as the Joker. The film also stars Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Bill Camp, Shea Whigham, and Marc Maron.

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Upcoming DC Films movies include Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2022.