The NYPD says ‘Joker’ movie screenings this weekend will be ‘closely monitored’

  • The New York Police Department will increase its presence at "Joker" screenings this weekend, including deploying undercover officers to movie theaters throughout the city, according to Deadline.
  • "If something happens inside one of the screenings, we intend to be able to pacify the situation quickly and conclusively," a law enforcement official told Deadline.
  • The NYPD told Business Insider in a statement that "there are no specific or credible threats at this time and these events will continue to be closely monitored."
  • The Los Angeles Police Department announced last week that it would "maintain high visibility around movie theaters."
  • The public concerns of violence at "Joker" screenings got national attention after family members of the 2012 Aurora, Colorado movie-theater mass shooting sent a letter to the studio Warner Bros. last week.
  • 12 people were killed and 70 more injured during a midnight screening of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" by a gunman who sparked comparisons to the popular Batman villain, Joker.
  • Despite public concerns, "Joker" is expected to be a box-office hit this weekend and is projected to break the domestic October box-office record.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The New York Police Department will have an increased presence at "Joker" screenings this weekend, as concerns about potential violence at movie theaters grows.

Officers will patrol theaters throughout the city both in uniform and out, with a "significant" amount of undercover officers being stationed inside screenings, according to Deadline.

"This is 360-degree policing approach to ensure safety for ticket buyers in their seats, as well as on the streets," a law enforcement official told Deadline. "If something happens inside one of the screenings, we intend to be able to pacify the situation quickly and conclusively."

The NYPD told Business Insider in a statement that "there are no specific or credible threats at this time and these events will continue to be closely monitored."

"Any additional personnel will be deployed as needed," the statement added. "Members of the public are encouraged to help police in the shared responsibility of public safety. If you see something, say something by calling 911."

The Los Angeles Police Department also announced last week that it would "maintain high visibility around movie theaters" during "Joker" screenings.

"Joker" is a gritty, R-rated origin story about the famous Batman villain. Reviews for the film have been mostly positive, but have noted its graphic violence. Business Insider's Jason Guerrasio wrote in his review that "Joker" is "an ultra-violent drama that takes heavy influence from movies like Martin Scorsese's 'The King of Comedy' and 'Taxi Driver.'"

Concerns about the movie gained national attention after a letter was sent to the studio Warner Bros. last week by family members of the victims of the 2012 Aurora, Colorado movie-theater mass shooting, in which 12 people were killed and 70 more injured during a midnight screening of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises."

The shooter sparked comparisons to the Joker because of his bright-orange, dyed hair. Reports at the time indicated that he told arresting officers to call him "The Joker," but that has since been debunked by The Denver Post.

The letter did not call for a boycott of the movie, but urged Warner Bros. to to use its "political clout and leverage in Congress to actively lobby for gun reform," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"My worry is that one person who may be out there — and who knows if it is just one — who is on the edge, who is wanting to be a mass shooter, may be encouraged by this movie," Sandy Phillips (no relation to "Joker" director Todd Phillips), whose 24-year-old daughter Jessica Ghawi was among those killed, told THR.

The Cinemark theater where the shooting took place, Century Aurora and XD, will not be showing "Joker." A theater employee told THR that "advance ticket purchases were not available because the film will not be shown at the venue."

Despite public concerns, "Joker" is still expected to be a box-office hit this weekend and is projected to break the domestic October box-office record currently held by "Venom" with $80 million. Boxoffice Pro is anticipating that the movie could even make over $100 million.

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