Friday, July 20, 2012

'Dark Knight Rises' Opens to Record $28-$30 Mil in Midnight Grosses Amid Shooting

Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises enjoyed record-breaking midnight business -- but now faces the tough task of rolling out amid real-life violence that left a dozen people dead and many others injured after a masked man opened fire in a Colorado theater.

So far, Warner Bros. has no plans to change the film's release plan. Dark Knight Rises opened at 12:01 a.m. Friday in more than 3,700 locations across the country, including the theater in Aurora, Colo., where the shooting occured.

By midday Friday, Dark Knight Rises will be playing in more than 4,400 theaters in North America.

Insiders at various studios say they've heard of no theater closings because of the shooting, but they'll be watching to see how the tragedy affects box office.

Insiders at Warners say the shooting was an isolated incident and that Dark Knight Rises is doing strong matinee business after earning as much as $30 million -- if not more -- in midnight runs. The movie could score the second-best midnight gross of all time if it exceeds the $30.2 million earned by The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1, which had the advantage of being released in 3D

"The company is devastated, but everything is moving forward," one Warners executive said.

In 1999, grosses for The Matrix weren't impacted to a major degree after a shooting inside a theater that left three people did.

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