Analysts don’t expect the tragic shooting during a Thursday night screening of the Amy Schumer comedy “Trainwreck” in Lafayette, Louisiana, to have a significant effect on the movie’s performance.
“As horrible and unfathomable as this tragedy is, it’s doubtful it will have much impact on the play-ability of ‘Trainwreck,’ ” Jeff Bock, senior box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations, told International Business Times. “It’s sad that this is now ‘a thing,’ but it’s not as if the content of the movie is in any way related to what happened.”
During a showing of the Judd Apatow-directed R-rated comedy, John Houser Russell opened fire on a theater, killing two people and injuring nine others. Described as “kind of a drifter” by local police, Russell killed himself after the incident.
The Grand Theater, where the incident took place, said in a statement, “All of us offer our thoughts and prayers to the victims and to the community of Lafayette. We are grateful to all local officials and to the governor for their efforts.” A spokesperson said there was no immediate information on whether the theater will cancel screenings this weekend.
“Trainwreck” opened last weekend and brought in $30.1 million, exceeding pre-release predictions of $20 million. To date, the movie has made $41.1 million, surpassing its reported production budget of $35 million.
Thursday's shooting comes three years after a mass shooting at a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado, which left 12 people dead and 70 injured. In the wake of the shooting, Warner Bros. decided to cancel the movie’s Paris premiere and stopped the trailer for its then-upcoming movie “Gangster Squad,” which featured a shooting in a movie theater, from being shown in theaters before “The Dark Knight Rises.”
The “Dark Knight” shooting also sparked national conversations about violence in Hollywood movies, with many drawing a connection between the shooter’s actions and the onscreen violence. (As Bock pointed out, there is no apparent connection with Schumer’s romantic comedy.) Immediately following the incident in Aurora, some Batman fans said that, as a result, they planned not to see the film.
“The Dark Knight Rises” was a major hit, but it couldn’t keep up with “The Dark Knight.” Warner Bros. exec Jeff Goldstein said there was “no question” that it was because of the theater shooting. By the end of its run, “The Dark Knight Rises” made more than “The Dark Knight” worldwide, but came in below it domestically.
Following the incident in Louisiana, Schumer offered her condolences to the victims and their families on Twitter.
My heart is broken and all my thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Louisiana.
— Amy Schumer (@amyschumer) July 24, 2015