Universal Pictures has one thing on its mind right now – the security cover to be provided at screenings of ‘Straight Outta Compton’ since most people are anticipating some sort of violence.
Though the movie is expected to rake in somewhere between $30 million and $50 million during its weekend release (Today, August 14), this much-anticipated biopic about the hip-hop group N.W.A. and its 1998 breakout album is giving sleepless nights to both the cops and the theatre managements around the country even before its release. The seeds of violence don’t lie in the fact that this group gave birth to the famed West Coast ‘gansta’ rap, but in the depiction of confrontational lyrics, aggression, doping, gang violence, police racism and brutality, and physical abuse and degradation of women in the movie.
Throughout the movie, the audience could be alternatively fascinated and disgusted by characters like Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Eazy-E while still enjoying their favourite rap hits. Directed by F. Gary Gray, the film has been rated R for depiction of sexual nudity, language and violence, but the maximum influence is expected to come from the general public’s knowledge of the group’s impact, history and aggressive lyrics.
People have yet to forget the recent events of movie house murders and shootings – the murders at the cinemas in Lafayette, L.A., Aurora Colo the multiplex shooter who was recently sentenced and other sundry events of violence and arson. Given the fresh memories, there is a general fear and anxiety about the possibility of more violence because of the content of the film and most theatres are gearing up to meet it by adding extra security for the screenings. Universal has already stated that it “has partnered with those exhibitors who have requested support for their locations.”
However, Universal also said that “We’re very proud of our association with ‘Straight Outta Compton,’ and the film has been seen by thousands of people at hundreds of screenings — all of which have happened without incident,” though this has done little to allay the fears of theatre owners. Even the LAPD, while denying a citywide security plan, nevertheless said, “We’re leaving it to the different divisions to decide whether to put more undercover in the theatres or to provide extra security.”