"The Butler" ruled this past weekend with a $25 million opening, a surprising amount for the new civil rights drama.
Weirdly, according to a moviegoer at the Regal Cinemas in Silver Spring, Maryland, the theater had police and armed security guards during showings of "The Butler" (video below).
Twitter user "Tiffany Flowers" (pictured) tweeted that "The Butler" audience had their movie tickets checked twice, armed policemen were stationed inside the theater and armed guards were inside the screening room, notes Mediaite.com.
Flowers tweeted: "Then as soon as we enter the theater we were greeted by an actual police officer who herded traffic in one direction. @RegalMovies."
"Once we get around the corner and start looking for seats we see yet another police office inside the theater facing patrons.@RegalMovies."
"The almost entirely black audience of #TheButler was subjected to watching the film while armed guards faced the audience. Why?@RegalMovies."
Flowers said she didn’t see armed guards at any of the other films showing at the same theater. A theater manager told Tiffany that “all big selling movies have this type of crowd control,” but there were no police or armed guards for "Kick-Ass 2," which was expected to top the box office.
According to TheGrio.com, Russ Nunley, a spokesman for Regal Cinemas, issued a statement on Sunday afternoon:
Regal Entertainment Group routinely employs security personnel to ensure the safety all of our guests and staff. When a theatre experiences sold out showings of any feature, security will assist with crowd control and guest assistance throughout the facility, including auditoriums.
This weekend our Majestic theatre experienced a tremendous guest response to the feature the ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler’ such that additional showtimes were added to meet our guests demands.
At no time did local management receive any guest complaints or concerns about our security or staff, who worked diligently to meet all of our guests needs.
To the extent any guests were dissapointed [sic] with their experience, we welcome the opportunity to address their concerns and provide them the best entertainment experience possible in their future visits to our theatres [sic].
However, guests have already expressed their concerns and Nunley did not explain why "Kick-Ass 2" had no extra security, while "The Butler" did.