Warner Brothers, the studio behind The Dark Knight Rises, has released a response to the mass shooting during a midnight screening of the film in Aurora, Colorado.
Warner Bros. is deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time.
The brief statement makes no mention of plans to alter the film's release schedule, though the the Paris premiere, set for Friday nightm has been canceled. The film was initially expected to rank in over $200 million this weekend. As the The Dark Knight Rises hit 3,700 screens across the U.S on Friday, entertainment outlets began monitoring the film's box office intake. By 3 a.m., the film had grossed about $27 million. The film has generated $30 million in advance ticket sales but the shooting could change all that.
At around 12:39 a.m. on Friday, a masked gunman burst through the emergency exit of the Aurora Town Center movie theater, released tear gas, and opened fire. Twelve people have been reported dead while fifty have been injured.
The shooter, who was apprehended at the scene, has been identified as Colorado resident James Holmes, 24. His motive for the attack is still unknown, though speculation has begun about a possible, unconfirmed connection to the Tea Party.
Deadline has noted that this is the single worst incident to occur inside of a movie theater.
Now no one in the movie business knows how this terrible event will affect box office today, wrote Nikki Finike. Despite isolated incidents, nothing on this horrific scale has ever occurred inside film theaters.