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After earning rousing standing ovations and even the Golden Lion Award at this year’s Venice Film Festival, over the past week the major narrative about the new Todd Phillips film has been one of worry, mostly thanks to various family members of the Aurora shootings voicing concerns to the studio about their concerns over the Arthur Fleck-based film. Yet, the Joker premiere, at least, went off without a hitch.
Although security was amped up for the Los Angeles premiere of Joker at the TLC Chinese Theater in the heavily trafficked Hollywood Boulevard area, the premiere basically went off without any issues of any sort. There were some changes, as there was even security in the parking garage nearby the Chinese theater. Traffic was also shuffled into one lane and cars were inspected at the event.
In addition, the LAPD said that it was aware of “public concerns,” per Deadline, although the organization also noted there were no “credible threats” in the Los Angeles area for moviegoers to currently be concerned about. The FBI and Homeland Security also reportedly have found no “credible threats” impending about the upcoming DC and Warner Bros. film.
Elsewhere, the Aurora movie theater where the shooting occurred, which closed down for six months after the mass shooting that happened at a Dark Knight Rises screening back in 2013, will also not be screening Joker out of respect of the families. The theater was remodeled and renamed before it reopened, but some family members of the victims were not happy with the decision to reopen the theater at the time, either. Other theaters are banning costumes at screenings.
Meanwhile, Todd Philips and others have been open about the violence in the R-rated movie and their feelings related to both what to expect and the concerns voiced by people online. Robert De Niro, who acts in Joker, has said he's aware there is some "controversy" over the film. Prior to the Aurora families writing a statement, director Todd Phillips also encouraged people to see the movie with an "open mind" before making a judgment about the film.
At the screening at the Chinese theater, Todd Phillips also came out again, saying the film hasn't "gotten enough press," a joke given the themes in Joker have been tied to overarching concerns about violence in the real world in recent weeks. The movie will officially open wide on October 4. It's a month featuring a few other higher profile flicks, as Disney is also putting out Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and Ang Lee's Gemini Man will also be released. If anything could really ignite the box office, it's expected to be Joker.
Early box office estimates have the film bringing in upwards of $60-$90 million domestically, which is a good number for an r-rated flick to put up, although we'd be remiss if we didn't note estimates don't always play out exactly as they are expected to. Still, the date is getting close and we'll find out how well the movie does soon enough.