The Dark Knight Rises to top of US box office despite massacre
Box office insiders claim new Batman film broke records for 2D film takings on its opening weekend
THE FINAL instalment of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy The Dark Knight Rises reportedly broke 2D box office records this weekend - despite the massacre at a Colorado cinema that threatened to derail the film’s launch.
Hollywood has remained officially silent on box office figures out of respect for the victims and families affected by the deadly shooting. But figures leaked to the New York Times show that the film earned $160m in the United States and Canada over the weekend.
This is marginally more than the last Batman film The Dark Knight which took $158.4m in its first weekend in 2008. If correct, the earnings would be the highest ever for a 2D movie’s opening weekend.
It would also make The Dark Knight Rises the third-highest grossing film in a first weekend ever, beaten only by the 3D versions of The Avengers with $207.4m and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 with $169.2m.
However, the BBC says the takings for The Dark Knight Rises, which cost Warner Bros $250m to make, were below industry forecasts made before the mass shooting on Friday. Projected figures suggested the film would make an estimated $173m, based on Friday receipts.
"This tragedy did not seem to impact the box office in a major way," says Paul Dergarabedian, a box office analyst for Hollywood.com. "For this film to still be in the rarefied air of the top-three openings of all time is phenomenal, given the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the release of this film."
Stars of the film have paid their respects to the 12 who died in the shooting, and the 58 injured. Anne Hathaway, who plays Catwoman in the film, said her "heart aches and breaks for the lives taken and altered by this unfathomable senseless act". Premieres for the movie in France, Japan and Mexico were cancelled in the wake of the Aurora massacre.