"The Dark Knight Rises" was expected to threaten "The Avengers" for box office supremacy this weekend.
Then, earlier this morning, a gunman dressed as the Joker, opened fire on a "Dark Knight" screening in Colorado, and killed 12 movie goers before police took him into custody.
The film's commercial chances suddenly were up in the air, but Deadline.com reports the early indicators show the massacre hasn't adversely affected ticket sales - yet.
“What happened in Colorado is a tragedy, make no mistake about it. But East Coast numbers are coming in like nothing ever happened. We grossed half a million dollars by 10 AM just in Manhattan.” One reason for that is because most of today’s grosses, and a good portion of this weekend’s, consisted of $30M in pre-sales. So whether moviegoers show up or not to the theaters doesn’t matter: they still paid for their tickets. The real-time effect of the Aurora movie theater shooting likely won’t be felt at the box office until Saturday at the earliest and more likely Sunday and next week and next weekend as pre-release sales decrease.