There’s one added cost that Universal probably didn’t anticipate when making the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton: funding extra movie theater security around its release. The studio has said that it will pay for movie theaters which want to add additional security around the launch of the rap doc, said Variety. While noting that Universal is ‘proud’ to associate itself with the film that debuts tomorrow, it notes that the studio will assist theaters that choose to bulk up their security.
“The film has been seen by thousands of people at hundreds of screenings, all of which have happened without incident,” said a Universal spokesperson to Variety. “The studio has not solicited enhanced security for theaters who will begin showing it this weekend, but has partnered with those exhibitors who have requested support for their locations.”
The film depicts the rise (and fall) of the hip hop group from Compton, California which Dr. Dre founded with Eazy-E (and also features Ice Cube). It’s named after their debut 1988 album featuring the anti-racial profiling song F–k the Police as well as Gangsta Gangsta.
Theaters are particularly worried about violence around this film due to both its profiling of a violent, anti-police gang and recent movie theater shootings. In addition to a very recent theater shooting in Louisiana, the film comes just months after mass demonstrations against police in Ferguson, Mo. and nationwide.
While there has been increased security around pre-release showings in L.A. and elsewhere, there haven’t been any reports of violence. Variety notes that theaters also hired additional security around the release of 1991’s Boys N The Hood, which did result in “more than 20 incidents of violence during its opening weekend.”