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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re aware that there’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the Joaquin Phoenix-led Joker, but it hasn’t just involved the content of the movie itself. One of the biggest examples of the ‘mayhem’ at various theaters were fake signs posted informing patrons that singles, specifically single males, would not be allowed inside Joker screenings. One of the pranksters behind this ruse has now been banned from all AMC theaters for life as punishment.
Backing up a little, on October 3, a Twitter user called @jinpayn posted a photo on the social media platform of a flyer at an AMC theater in Orange, California claiming that a ‘no singles policy’ was being enforced for the Joker screenings. As it turns out, this individual, who only identified himself as Payne when speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, was the one who put up that flyer, intending for it to be a joke referencing an old 4chan meme.
Payne’s Twitter post started making the rounds, leading to someone named ‘Elizabeth’ from AMC Guest Services to set the record straight and inform people that this policy did not exist, and that the flyers had been removed by theater employees. But that didn’t stop Payne from still pretending like this was a real thing with concerned Twitter users.
Then on Monday, Payne posted a letter he received from AMC’s vice president of security, informing him that he’d been spotted posting the flyer and that if he returned to any AMC locations, he’d be considered a “trespasser” and “the involvement of law enforcement and arrest may result.” When asked by THR if it was worth pulling off this Joker gag for the “lulz,” Payne responded:
I don’t do anything for the lulz because I’m not that type of meme loser, so I guess it wasn’t really worth it, but I was having fun with it at the time so I don’t know. It was kinda just something for my friends to laugh about. The theater no-singles policy has been a long-running joke online and has evolved to other more absurd claims such as a singles tax, theater metal detectors, theater penis inspection, etc. So I joke about that with them — and I do go to the movies alone so I’ve always found the joke funny.
I guess this guy will have to patronize Regal Cinemas or another theater chain from now on, as AMC has made it quite clear they don’t want him around after he pulled that prank. Ironically, one of the other ‘no singles’ signs concerning Joker from over the weekend came from comedians Nick Ciarelli and Brad Evans, who posted their’s after believing the sign Payne took a picture of was real.
These Joker signs were just one of the ways mischief was afoot over the weekend as the movie played. Other examples included two men being led out by police for smoking and another man being escorted out for making other theater patrons uncomfortable.
Due to concerns about if a Joker screening could end up being the site of another mass shooting, like the one that went down in Aurora, Colorado during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises, some theaters also heightened security to be safe. Other locations even banned folks from wearing costumes when seeing Joker.
As for Joker itself, the movie’s received a lot of positive reception overall, ranking at 69% among critics and 90% among audiences on Rotten Tomatoes, and scoring a B+ on CinemaScore. It’s been an even bigger commercial hit, taking in $272 million worldwide so far. You can be sure that we’ll keep you updated on any other major shenanigans that unfold at theaters showing Joker.
Be sure to read CinemaBlend’s review of Joker and what other members of our staff thought of the movie. You can also plan your trips to the theater for the rest of the year with our 2019 release schedule.