Dark night casts pall over ‘Dark Knight Rises’July 23, 2012 No Comments
July 23, 2012 / MariaNews.com
Dark night casts pall over ‘Dark Knight Rises’
By Catholic Online
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) – While “The Dark Knight Rises” recorded strong ticket sales in its opening weekend, the midnight screening in Colorado that erupted in gunfire from a lone gunman that led to the shooting deaths of at least 12 moviegoers has understandably cast a pall over ticket showings. Some film fans have stayed away from the film due to the rampage in Aurora, Colorado last week.
“Dark Knight” grossed an estimated $162 million in showings through Sunday in U.S. and Canadian movie theaters, lower than the $173 million that had been based on Friday receipts.
As one of the most anticipated films of this year, “The Dark Knight Rises” is now strongly linked to a national tragedy, perhaps discouraging ticket sales.
Box office forecasters had previously predicted sales in a range of $170 million to $198 million from Friday through Sunday, just shy of the record $207 million set by superhero movie “The Avengers” in May.
It appears the shootings had a chilling effect on motion picture attendance overall. Fox’s animated family movie “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” which grossed $44.6 million last week and was the top-selling film, had a larger-than-anticipated 51 percent drop for its second week.
“The Amazing Spider-Man,” which opened with near-record sales on July 3, collected $10.5 million over the weekend. Universal Pictures’ raunchy fantasy “Ted,” about a man and his foul-mouthed teddy bear, notched $10.1 million at the box office. Disney’s animated film “Brave” grossed $5.8 million.
Companies had previously withheld weekend results in deference for the shooting victims.
“The cable news networks were wall-to-wall with the shooting, so it had some shock value that will keep people away,” former Columbia Pictures marketing Chief Peter Sealey said. “But it will be short-term. This movie will play for five or six weeks and still do great business.”
Warner Bros. cancelled a Paris premiere and appearances by the cast and crew in Mexico and Japan.
“Dark Knight Rises” is the third and final film in a popular Batman series starring Christian Bale as the crime-fighting hero and directed by Christopher Nolan. Warner Bros. spent $250 million to produce it in addition to tens of millions on marketing.
Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, “Batman Begins” (2005), “The Dark Knight” (2008) and “The Dark Knight Rises” are considered by some fans as being cursed due to Heath Ledger’s death by accidental overdose. Ledger, who played The Joker in “The Dark Knight,” died months before its premiere.
“There will be a dark shadow hanging over this (trilogy) for as long as people remember the massacre,” says Scott Mantz, film producer and critic for Access Hollywood. “And people aren’t going to forget.”
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