Le Batman's dark night in Paris
The Paris premiere of The Dark Knight Rises was cancelled after a dozen people were murdered at a Denver, Colorado, cinema that was premiering the movie.
A gunman wearing a gas mask and a bulletproof vest hurled a gas canister inside the theatre and opened fire on moviegoers, killing 12 people and injuring scores more. He has been identified as 24-year-old James Holmes.
In New York, police planned to deploy officers at screenings throughout the city as a precaution, and theatres nationwide began reviewing and tightening security.
The ArcLight Cinemas in LA increased security at all locations and said Dark Knight screenings would continue as planned, according to a message from the theatre on Twitter. Carmike Cinemas, America's fourth-largest theatre chain, said it uses uniformed "law enforcement officers and plainclothes agents" and other security measures at its 237 theatres.
French TV station TF1 said it had cancelled a pre-recorded interview with Marion Cotillard, who stars in the movie alongside Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway, that was to have been broadcast.
Warner Bros Studio faced the prospect of seeing the blockbuster falter at box-offices after the shooting, even as it got off to a strong start across the US and Canada. Warner Bros said it took in US$30.6m (RM93m) at screenings just after midnight, surpassing the benchmark set by The Avengers.
The head of Cinemark Holdings, owner of the Century 16 theatre in Aurora where the shooting occurred, went on TV to stress the safety of moviegoing. Cinemark CEO Tim Warner called the shooting "a one-off tragedy".
Hollywood box-office watchers said it was too soon to know exactly how ticket sales would be impacted by the event as the industry has never faced a situation like this. "It's too early to tell. This is a tragic and unprecedented event," said Paul Dergarabedian from Hollywood.com.
Phil Contrino, editor of Boxoffice.com, echoed those sentiments, saying "nobody's ever encountered this before" and added that the first concerns should be for the people and families who were affected by the shooting.
Contrino said the impact on Hollywood and the industry could go beyond just The Dark Knight Rises to all movies in theatres if people stay away, and it could extend well into the future if the event lingers in people's minds. Others said the incident would do little to dampen turnout for The Dark Knight Rises.
"As horrible as this was, it is likely to affect the movie at the edges and won't take away that many viewers," said Tony Wible, an analyst who follows entertainment companies and theatre chains. "There are only a few people who won't come out to see a movie because of this."
Published: 21st July 2012