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Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie stretching mouth into smile

Pity the poor movie theater employees who have to put up with Joker fans over opening weekend. The fans may not be dangerous, but a few are having a little too much fun with the "controversies" out there, posting fake signs that real movie theater patrons and employees have to respond to.

Some of the signs are obviously jokes, especially if you read the fine print. But since Joker has been called out for fears of inciting violence -- particularly from any guys who might relate to Joaquin Phoenix's rejected character, with the real-life Aurora shootings at The Dark Knight Rises screening often cited -- some patrons did seem to think, at least at first, that the signs were real warnings.

Here's a joke sign that some fans thought was legit and AMC felt compelled to reply to:

Another fake sign was made to drag Regal into it:

A couple of comedians also made some NSFW posters for ArcLight Cinemas, joking that guys who basically look like incels won't be allowed in the theater:

And so ArcLight also felt compelled to reply to several people to make it clear the signs were fake:

At least people are having fun with this. But really, who knew the real threat would be pranksters? If anything, movie theater employees may be the ones to snap and start throwing popcorn at randy patrons. Stop making them take down your stupid signs.

There was apparently one "credible" threat to a movie theater in California, prompting police and the theater managers to cancel the final showings of Joker and close the theater, per ABC News.

Other than that, the real copycat crimes seem to be wasting movie theater employees' time with fake signs and other jokes. Joker itself seems to be earning polarizing reactions from the people who have actually seen it. There isn't one way to look at the movie, although early reviews raved it's a "masterpiece" and at least one other Joker -- Mark Hamill -- seems to agree.

Joaquin Phoenix's performance has earned praise, even from people who didn't like the film for any number of reasons. Speaking of Joaquin, he's no stranger to pranks himself, especially on late night talk shows, and he just did another one the other day. The film is called Joker, following an aspiring comedian, so I guess we can't be surprised when people take joking around pretty seriously.

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