'Dark Night' premiere, press events scrapped
Hours after Friday's mass shooting at an Aurora, Colo., debut of the "The Dark Knight Rises," the studio canceled a premiere in Paris and interviews with some of the film's stars.
The event at a movie theater on the French capital's famed Champs-Elysees was supposed to include director Christopher Nolan and stars like Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine. But on Friday afternoon, workers were pulling down the red carpet display, The Associated Press reported. Some could be seen carrying away a large mask that had adorned the facade of the theater.
The California-based studio, Warner Bros., in a statement on Friday offered its "sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time."
In the United States, no changes to Warner's promotional campaign have been announced and studio spokeswoman Sue Fleischman said, "We are not canceling any screenings or showings of the film."
"It's unprecedented," said Phil Contrino, editor of the industry website Boxoffice. "It's no longer just a movie, that's already clear. 'The Dark Knight Rises' will be forever associated with this horrible act and there's no way to separate the two, fair or unfair."
In addition, the trailer for another Warner Bros. film, "Gangster Squad," a crime-drama set in the 1940s, was pulled from theaters, the studio announced. The film, starring Sean Penn, Emma Stone, Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling, shows a group of gunmen firing through a movie screen into a crowd of theatergoers. The film was due out in September and its trailer had been attached to "The Dark Knight Rises."
The third and final film in a trilogy starring Bale as Batman, "The Dark Knight Rises" takes place in a Gotham City convulsed by populist anger and terrorized by a masked monster named Bane, played by Tom Hardy.
"The Dark Knight Rises" earned $30.6 million in Thursday midnight screenings and is predicted to earn a total of $180 million over the weekend. That would be the second-best three-day debut of all time, behind the $207 million of "Marvel's The Avengers."