It's uncommon for major movie studios to be in the headlines for playing well with others. As the news has unfolded about the mass shootings at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colo., however, executives at Warner Bros. (distributor of the film), Universal, Sony, Lionsgate, Fox, and Disney have decided to delay reporting their weekend box-office results until Monday as a gesture of respect for the tragedy's victims and their families.
Customarily, Hollywood estimates for weekend viewings are announced Sunday.
The box-office tracking service Rentrak announced it also would delay reporting the weekend's results until Monday, according to the Associated Press.
Paramount has not yet said whether it would join the other major studios in this action, AP reported.
Box-office figures for The Dark Knight Rises are expected to take a hit in the wake of the Aurora shootings, which killed 12 people and injured 58 others. Midnight screenings on Friday brought in $30.6 million, and the Hollywood Reporter and Variety estimated the rest of Friday earned between $75 million and $77 million, AP said.
The Dark Knight Rises is the third installment of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, and it was initially expected to break the opening weekend box-office record of $207.4 million set by The Avengers. This kind of performance would appear unlikely now, but the film could still earn about $165 million, according to AP, which noted that this would be good enough for second place on the list of highest-grossing opening weekends.
The movie theater is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me, Nolan said in a statement issued Friday.
Warner Bros. canceled the Friday night premiere of the film in Paris, as well as red-carpet events in Tokyo and Mexico City. The studio also halted promotion of its coming film Gangster Squad, which depicts characters played by Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling firing guns into a crowd at a movie theater.
Even though reports of the tragic shooting have dominated the headlines, early reviews of The Dark Knight Rises have been overwhelmingly positive. Audiences have given it a 94 percent approval rating on the online film site Rotten Tomatoes -- and one critic suggested fans will wish it was a 10-part series.