'Dark Knight Rises' Opens to Record $30.6 Mil in Midnight Grosses Amid Shooting
UPDATED: The superhero pic scored the second-best midnight gross of all time, but the jury's out on whether the Colorado theater shooting will impact box office as news of the tragedy sinks in.
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, grossing a record $30.6 million. That's the second-best number of all time outside of the final Harry Potter pic ($43.5 million).
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.
"The company is devastated, but everything is moving forward," one Warners executive said.
Insiders at Warners say the shooting was an isolated incident and that Dark Knight Rises is doing strong matinee business after its strong midnight showing. The movie beat the $30.2 million earned by The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1, which had the advantage of being released in 3D
Warners, along with theater owners and the Motion Picture Association of America, offered its condolences to the families of the victims in an official statement.
The National Association of Theater Owners also issued a statement, saying it is working closely with local law enforcement agencies and reviewing security procedures.
"On behalf of all the members and staff of the National Association of Theatre Owners, our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of this despicable act and their families. We are grateful for the quick and effective response by police and emergency personnel," NATO said. "Guest safety is, and will continue to be a priority for theater owners. NATO members are working closely with local law enforcement agencies and reviewing security procedures."
In 1999, grosses for The Matrix weren't impacted to a major degree after a shooting inside a theater that left three people dead.
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