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Mass shooting delays "Dark Knight Rises" figures

Writer: Peter Chai


Upcoming premiere and promotional events of "The Dark Knight Rises" were halted due to the tragic massacre at the film's midnight premiere at Century 16 theatre in Colorado on 20 July.

23 July – It was a dark night indeed that rose for the fans and moviegoers present at the midnight premiere of Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises", when a tragic mass shooting broke out at the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado on Friday, 20 July, which led Warner Bros. Pictures, the studio behind the now legendary film, not to publish the weekend box office results of the movie until the following week's Monday in order not to offend the American public and the victims' families, according to Chicago Tribune.

"Out of respect for the victims and their families, Warner Bros. Pictures will not be reporting box office numbers for "The Dark Knight Rises" throughout the weekend," said a spokeswoman.

Box office tracker Exhibitor Relations had confirmed that other Hollywood studios including Disney, Fox, Sony, Lionsgate and Universal had taken the same move as Warner Bros by withholding the weekend box office takings.

However, not all media adhered to this decision. The Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times and New York Times have reported on Sunday that the climatic edition of "The Dark Knight" series had earned $160 million to $162 million, making it the third-highest domestic weekend opening ever, after the 3D films "The Avengers" with $207.4 million and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2" with $169.2 million.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros had canceled the scheduled premiere and promotional events in Paris, Mexico and Japan, although they would still carry on the screenings for special guests and contest winners as not to disappoint them.

The studio had also taken a further step in addressing the tragedy by initiating discussions on whether to edit or remove its upcoming mobster film "Gangster Squad" from the lineup, which stars Oscar winner Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling. This was because the shooting scene in Ruben Fleischer's crime film is similar to the Colorado massacre, the latter which killed 12 people and injured 58 moviegoers during the premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises".

The stars have also broken their silence on the massive tragedy, with the man behind the Batman cowl himself, Christian Bale, saying, "Words cannot express the horror that I feel. I cannot begin to truly understand the pain and grief of the victims and their loved ones, but my heart goes out to them."

"Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of "The Dark Knight Rises", I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community," offered director Christopher Nolan.

According to the witnesses, the gunman known as James Holmes, had painted his hair red and called himself the Joker, a role that was portrayed by the late Heath Ledger, and Ledger's father had addressed the media for this.

"We can't blame Heath or the character. I think that's the least of my worries. I'd be more worried about the families and other people involved in the tragedy rather than anything else."


Cinema Online, 23 July 2012

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