Arts Post
Posted at 11:04 AM ET, 07/20/2012

“Dark Knight” shootings: Should Warner Brothers cancel weekend screenings?

After the shooting in Colorado at a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises,” that killed at least 12 and wounded dozens, Warner Brothers is now faced with a decision: Cancel weekend screenings, at a potential loss of hundreds of millions of dollars, or go forward with the screenings, and risk angering mourners, the victims, and their families?


Workers dismantle an installation setup for the premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises", scheduled to be held Friday night in Paris, Friday, July 20, 2012, which has been canceled after a gunman killed 12 people at a Colorado opening of the same film. (Jacques Brinon - AP)

The Paris premiere of the film, which was supposed to occur tonight at a theater on the Champs-Elysees, has been cancelled. Workers pulled down a red carpet display, including a giant Batman mask.

If screenings across the country were cancelled this weekend, it would have a huge financial impact on the film’s earnings. Its predecessor, “The Dark Knight” earned $158 million, nearly 30 percent of its total profit, during its opening weekend in 2008 — and “The Dark Knight Rises” has received even more hype. Now, with the shooting potentially keeping moviegoers away, ”The Dark Knight Rises” isn’t likely to unseat “The Avengers” as the top-grossing opening weekend of all time.

What do you think — Should Warner Brothers keep theaters dark out of respect for the victims? Or is it okay for Batman to appear on screens across the country, despite the tragedy? Tell us in the comments, and take our poll.

Update, 4:30 p.m.: AMC has released a statement to Facebook:

AMC Theatres is deeply saddened by the Aurora tragedy. Movie going is part of our social fabric and this senseless act shakes us to our core. We’re reinforcing our security procedures with our theatre teams, which we cannot discuss in detail for obvious, safety reasons. Local law enforcement agencies, our landlords and their and our local security teams are stepping up nationwide to ensure we provide the safest environment possible for our guests. We couldn’t be more grateful for their collective support.

At this time, our show schedules circuit-wide will not change. We will not allow any guests into our theatres in costumes that make other guests feel uncomfortable and we will not permit face-covering masks or fake weapons inside our buildings. If guests wish to exchange or refund any tickets, we will honor our existing policy and do as our guests wish. We are taking necessary precautions to ensure our guests who wish to enjoy a movie this weekend can do so with as much peace of mind as possible in these circumstances.

More on the shooting:

Live Blog: “Dark Knight” shootings

Video: “It was pretty much just panic.”

Photos: Dozens wounded at Batman movie

Obama and Romney respond

By  |  11:04 AM ET, 07/20/2012

 
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