I predict a riot: French cinemas axe Annabelle screenings after unrest
Prequel about a demonic doll caused riots, leading cinemas in Marseille, Strasbourg and Montpellier to cancel screenings
Horror movie Annabelle has been withdrawn from several French cinemas after the spooky prequel about a demonic doll saw teenage filmgoers rioting in auditoriums.
Managers in Marseille, Strasbourg and Montpellier have cancelled screenings until further notice for security reasons after under-16s began fighting, throwing popcorn and even ripping up theatre seats.
Didier Tarizzo, owner of the 450-seat Les 3 Palmes cinema in Marseilles, told the Times that more than a thousand people had arrived for a screening of the film on Saturday. “Some didn’t have the most elementary notion of how to behave,” he said. “They were throwing popcorn and talking at the top of their voices or walking round.
“It’s not up to me to teach young people how to respect the law,” added M Tarizzo, when asked why he had cancelled future screenings. “What worried me was that a cinemagoer irritated by all the noise could have had a go at an adolescent.”
Film critic Alain Grasset told French news channel BFMTV: “It’s a very young audience, for whom the screening is a time to let loose. They go to see it as a joke, but it’s a pretext to go a little wild.”
It’s not the first time a horror film has sparked teenage riots in France. According to Le Parisien, a similar phenomenon took place during screenings of Paranormal Activity and Sinister, with the latter film pulled from more than 40 screens in 2012.
Annabelle is a prequel linked to the 2013 horror smash The Conjuring. Despite receiving lukewarm reviews, the film has been a global box office smash, taking $129m (£80.6m) worldwide so far on a budget of just $6.5m.
(From the Guardian)