Creed III‘s immersive fight scenes have been spilling out into the audience in France and Germany, with reports of brawls at a number of screenings of Michael B Jordan’s Rocky spin-off over its opening week, beginning March 1.
French media reported around a dozen separate disturbances in cinemas in France over the weekend and a handful of independent venues have decided to take the film off their schedules.
Police were called to an afternoon screening in a Mégarama cinema in the central French city of Saint Etienne on Saturday (March 4) after fighting broke out and a security guard suffered a head injury when cans and bottles started to fly.
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Later that day, the police forced 500 people to evacuate from a Kinepolis cinema in the northeastern French town of Thionville after a mass brawl broke out, leading to the cancellation of the screening. Footage of the disturbance went viral.
Contacted by Deadline, the cinema said it did not want to comment.
In other incidents, a screening in the Metropolis cinema in the northern town of Charleville-Mézières was also abandoned after two individuals started fighting. They were arrested and temporarily placed in police custody.
Creed III is still on the program of all three cinemas.
However, the nine-screen CinéCentre complex in the northern town of Dreux announced on its website on Monday that it was de-programming the film following “inappropriate behavior” that ran contrary to its “values”.
There have also been reports of similar incidents in Germany, with screenings in the cities of Bremen, Hamburg and Essen cancelled after the police were called in to calm the situation when fighting broke out.
German media questioned whether the brawls and related anti-social behavior could be due to some sort of social media campaign or challenge but this does not appear to be the case even if footage of some of the incidents has gone viral.
French exhibition professionals contacted by Deadline were wary about speaking on the record about the brawls saying further media coverage could encourage copycat acts.
One source batted back a suggestion the incidents amounted to “a phenomenon” noting that 600 cinemas were showing the film in France across more than 10,000 screenings in its first five days of release.
The disturbances were isolated incidents, they said.
France delivered Creed III its biggest opening weekend in Europe, with a gross of $7.7M, followed by $6.1M in the UK, $4.3M in Germany and $3.5M in Italy in what proved to be a record international opening for the franchise.
Deadline has contacted Warner Bros., which is handling the international release except in the Nordics, for comment on the disrupted screenings.
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