Warner Bros. canceled the Paris premiere of The Dark Knight Rises after a gunman killed at least a dozen people at a midnight screening of the movie in Aurora, CO, on Friday. The studio is also cancelling press events in Paris.
“Warner Bros. is deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident,” the studio said in a statement. “We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time.”
The suspect, 24-year-old James Holmes of Aurora, released an unknown gas and opened fire inside a movie theater in the Denver suburb, wounding around 50 people and killing at least 12.
It's a sad twist that this tragedy occurred in a setting that has represented comfort and escapism for many people. The Dark Knight Rises, which premiered Friday, was one of the most anticipated films of the year.
While the response from Warner Bros. was considerate, film studios and theaters must work to rebuild a sense of security and trust among moviegoers. The New York Police Department said it would provide security coverage at city movie theaters where The Dark Knight Rises is playing, and more safety measures around the country are likely to follow. Perhaps moviegoers will soon be required to go through a security line before entering theaters, or theaters might cancel midnight screenings altogether.
Whatever the case, the question of theater safety presents another challenge to film studios in a time of already declining movie attendance.