And it has!
At shopping centers, churches, schools, airports, aboard aircraft, at supermarkets, in hospitals—and now again at a theater.
The big question is how will it effect the movie experience in the short term?
For starters, it will probably negatively impact the anticipated huge opening weekend boxoffice gross of Christopher Nolan‘s final chapter of the trilogy. Parents may be reluctant to have their kids hit the theaters with those Denver TV images fresh on their minds.
And the incident should make film distributors rethink the wisdom of those massive 12:01 a.m. midnight show premiers because a single explosive—yet highly isolated—incident can negatively impact the entire national performance of a film.
From the theater operator’s point of view there will be calls for beefed up security at midnight shows. But who will pay for that?
That’ll be an issue to be ironed out between distributors and the exhibitors who will want to deduct the cost of additional uniformed security from film rentals paid to the studios.
It happened before.
And when, during that same period, certain African-American targeted movies caused outbreaks of violence on their Friday opening days and weekends, the studio’s made the decision to open such demographically targeted films two days early—on Wednesday’s instead of Friday’s.
The Wednesday openings took the pressure off those otherwise sold out Friday auditoriums.
There will surely be a lot of thinking and evaluating by both distributors and exhibitors in the coming days and weeks..
Can we ever be completely safe at a public venue? No, we can’t. Not in a free society. But we can take steps—and DO take steps—to make them as safe as humanly possible.