By Charly SHELTON
By now most everyone has heard about the horrific shooting that took place at the midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises” on July 20. Shortly following that event, studio heads at Warner Bros. reportedly thought about pulling the film from theaters, but ultimately decided against it. The trailer for upcoming “Gangster Squad,” which ran with the film, was pulled however due to a scene in the trailer in which Tommy guns are fired into the audience of a movie theater to kill 1940s mobsters. That scene is now being pulled from the film entirely and the release date for that film has been pushed from Sept. 7 to sometime next year, with the studio eyeing January as a possible release.
But the repercussions of Friday’s shooting go beyond the world of film.
A man was arrested Sunday at a Norwalk movie theater on felony charges for making threats about shootings, complaining when his showing of TDKR did not start precisely at the 5:15 p.m. scheduled start time. Other audience members reported him to the management after he reportedly held his cellphone in the air and yelled, “Does anyone have a gun?” and “I should go off like in Colorado.” Witnesses say that they were afraid he was going to shoot them.
When theater security officers arrived to detain him for the sheriff’s department, the suspect was on his knees in the second row of seats, searching through his backpack. Deputies searched the suspect, his bag, the theater and the surrounding grounds upon their arrival and did not find any weapons, nor were any found in the suspect’s home.
Additional repercussions include a comic book being pulled from shelves. DC Comics sent an email to comics retailers that asked that issue three of “Batman Incorporated” be delayed for release. The issue is said to contain material which, in light of the shootings, may be inappropriate. The series, written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Chris Burnham, was scheduled to release its third issue yesterday.
Burnham addressed the third issue on Twitter, saying it is delayed for “some grim imagery that would seem wholly inappropriate given the Aurora killings.” He added, “It’s not just a Batman comic with guns in it. There’s a specific scene that made DC and the whole Bat-team say ‘Yikes.’ Too close for comfort.” The issue is not cancelled, however its release is postponed to Aug. 22.
TDKR box office was barely touched by the incident. The film opened to $160 million, the biggest opening ever for a 2D film. The studio had projected a $195 million opening, however, so it does seem to have impacted the overall take. But moviegoers were largely undeterred from seeing the film. Warner Bros. has made a donation to those affected by the Aurora incident, but it was not from the opening profits of the film.
“We are making a donation to the victims of the incident,” WB rep Sue Fleishman told CV Weekly. “It is not a percentage of the box office, however. That has been misreported. It is just a donation that we have been working with the Governors Office to make.”