Vue have defended dropping Blue Story from its cinemas after “25 significant incidents” at its venues within the last 24 hours.
The film was pulled from the chain’s 91 cinemas in the UK following an incident that broke out at one of its venues, and was followed by cinema chain Showcase opting to do the same soon after.
- Read more: Micheal Ward on gritty postcode war drama Blue Story: “We’re not glorifying anything – we’re just showing how it is”
Despite a backlash, Vue have now defended the decision by saying that there had been a number of incidents at 16 of its cinemas related to the film.
“This is the biggest number we have ever seen for any film in a such a short time frame,” they said in a statement.
“Despite a range of precautionary measures in place, including increased security, removal of late-night showings and reduced screenings of the film, the decision to withdraw Blue Story in its entirety was made on Saturday evening on grounds of safety alone.
“While we are disappointed that these are the actions we have had to take, we hope it is understandable that we cannot, and will not, take any risks with regard to the welfare and safety of our staff and our customers.
“Unfortunately, the actions of a significant few have spoiled the opportunity for others, but we stand by our decision to withdraw the film from our schedule indefinitely.”
NME have contacted Vue for further comment, who said they are “not releasing any more details about specifics” at this time.
- Read more: Rapman on gritty crime drama Blue Story, and how to solve London’s gang violence problem and knife crime epidemic
The original incident involved 100 youngsters and occurred at Star City in Nechells, Birmingham on Saturday (November 23). Six teenagers were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder, while police said that two machetes and a knife were recovered from the scene.
Despite the film being pulled from the two cinema chains, Blue Story took in £1.3m on its opening weekend (via Screen), with director Rapman thanking fans on Twitter.
— Rapman (@RealRapman) November 25, 2019
“We lost nearly half of our screens on the 3rd day but we still made history with 1.3M in 3 days,” he said. “@BlueStoryMovie is no.3 in the UK box office. Thank you.”
Speaking previously to NME, the director explained what he feels needs to be done about London’s gang violence problem and knife crime epidemic.