Teen hordes prompt French cinemas to stop screening horror flick Annabelle

Cinema still of horror flick Annabelle. -- PHOTO: WARNER BROS
Cinema still of horror flick Annabelle. -- PHOTO: WARNER BROS

Paris (AFP) - Several cinemas across France have decided to stop showing the horror film Annabelle after hordes of overexcited teens swarmed screenings and created havoc.

Mr Didier Tarizzo, manager of an independent cinema in the city of Marseille, said things got out of control when thousands of teens between 12 and 17 showed up on Saturday for the opening night screening of the movie about a haunted doll.

"It was a huge success, all screenings were packed," he said, adding that scuffles had broken out and there were disturbances such as "popcorn being thrown".

He decided to no longer show the movie, about a couple which begins to "experience terrifying supernatural occurrences involving a vintage doll shortly after their home is invaded by satanic cultists", according to industry website IMDB.

Mr Tarizzo said that for "more and more films aimed at teenagers, it becomes a spectacle in the cinema".

"But this time there were far too many to be controlled. I told myself if it gets out of hand, it is going to be a royal brawl." The UGC cinema chain will stop showing the film in the northern city of Strasbourg and Creteil outside Paris from Wednesday, said director Emmanuel Delesse.

He cited disturbances to the rest of the public caused by teen viewers.

"We are acting on a case by case basis," said Mr Delesse, adding that social networks had played a role in the hooliganism, allowing teens to come together in their dozens.

"I can't recall previous films being taken down for this kind of incident." Other cinemas have settled for boosting security.

"We had big crowds when the movie came out over the weekend, but nothing serious," said Mr Xavier Manceau, deputy director of a cinema in Evry, south of Paris.

"As we are in a shopping mall, police rapidly intervened. We often have problems in October with all the horror films that come out at this time." Annabelle drew 429,000 viewers on Sunday night, according to CBO box office which tallies figures in French cinemas, putting it hot on the heels of Gone Girl, a mystery-drama starring Ben Affleck.

Annabelle is currently showing in cinemas here.