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26 Nov 2019 1:48 PM
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Since its release on November 22, Blue Story has been dominating headlines due to the controversy surrounding Vue Cinemas decision to pull the film from the chain’s 91 cinemas in the UK and Ireland following an incident that broke out at one of its venues.

This was despite having implemented increased security, reducing the number of showings and completely removing late-night screenings.

Police were called to the complex in Birmingham on Saturday evening following reports of youths with machetes, with the mass brawl resulting in a 13-year-old girl and four other teenagers being arrested, as well as seven officers being injured. A group of more than 100 people were said to be involved, with ‘pockets of fighting’ breaking out as families queued for Frozen 2.

West Midlands Police said it made no recommendations about pulling the 15-rated film, which is centred on two friends from different areas of south London who end up on rival sides of a gang war.

Once news broke about Vue Cinemas’ decision to pull the film, the backlash quickly flowed online, with many accusing them of ‘blatant racism’ in response to their decision. 


As well as most drawing comparisons to the release of Joker, citing a "few incidents" surrounding that film, with one US cinema cancelling screenings following what was described as a "credible" threat. But Joker went on to become a box office hit and the highest-grossing Rated R film of all-time. 

Vue Cinemas also released a statement to address their decision to pull Blue Story from its cinemas: 

"The decision to withdraw Blue Story was not one taken lightly or without careful consideration of our experience across the country. The film opened in 60 of our sites across the UK and Ireland on Friday 22nd November, but during the first 24 hours of the film over 25 significant incidents were reported and escalated to senior management in 16 separate cinemas. This is the biggest number we have ever seen for any film in a such a short time frame.

"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.

Showcase later followed suit and pulled Blue Story too, but reversed its decision to cancel all screenings after careful consideration and discussions with the distributor: 

"After careful consideration and discussions with the distributor in the last 24 hours, we have come up with a plan to reinstate screenings supported with increased security protocols and will be doing so from this evening."

Fortunately, despite Vue’s ban, other chains are continuining to show Rapman's critically-acclaimed film. Cineworld have confirmed that they are still showing the film at their cinemas. A spokesperson for Odeon told metro.co.uk they would still be screening the film, saying in a statement:

‘We are aware of reports of violence at cinemas which have been linked to the film Blue Story. The safety of our guests and colleagues is our number one priority. We have a number of security measures in place for this film, and are currently reviewing these along with our programming, in order to continue to put the safety of our guests first.’