New Jack City: Industry Faces Off-Screen Crisis After Batman Massacre

What happened this morning at the midnight premiere of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES at Cinemark’s Century 16 Theatres complex in suburban Aurora, Colorado could happen anywhere.

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.

Back in 1988 when Universal Pictures released Martin Scorsese’s controversial THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST monetary allowances for security were approved by the studio.

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.

Their reasoning?

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.

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18 Responses to New Jack City: Industry Faces Off-Screen Crisis After Batman Massacre

  1. Orphan of the Road says:

    Yes, that was my first thought, oh how terrible for the movie industry.


    “I’m thinkin’ of picking a fight, with everyone who thinks their right. The preacher man, the politician and the critics and the things they write…”

  2. the dude says:

    Jebus, these baman fanboys are taking it a little too far… beating some reviewer into a comma (sic) seemed a bit too much and then THIS. Get a grip fanboys, it is a MOVIE.

  3. smartman says:

    One more reason to obtain a conceal carry permit. Security seemed lax at the theater in that he was able to sneek out, prop the emergency exit door open, get geared up and return. Seems to me that proper electronic or video monitoring of the emergency exits might have stopped this catastrophe. As for me. I’ll pack my heat. When you see the laser dot on your forehead from my Kimber. YOU’RE GOING TO SEE JESUS!

    • Orphan of the Road says:

      I stand corrected, he had left and came back.

      That begs the question, aren’t the emergency exits supposed to sound an alarm?

      You opened a door at the National Theater in my youth and Mr. Dillon would be on you like white on rice.

  4. rkcal says:

    With all due respect to Smartman’s usual testosterone drenched “Die Hard” fantasy, packing heat will not cure all ills. The dude was in full body armor and locked and loaded and ready to rumble. Assault weapons have no business being in the hands of civilians…unless you dream of overthrowing the government, another popular wet-dream on these boards.

    • smartman says:

      If someone in the theater had a gun and was firing on him it would have taken his focus off of killing others. If that someone was a competent and highly skilled shooter they could have hit him in the face. Still a bad deal but maybe some lives are saved. Despite the Obama Administrations desire to disarm us that isn’t going to happen. It’s a dangerous world and you can’t rely on anyone but yourself to protect you and your loved ones when you are presented with an event like this. Better to go down swinging than doing nothing at all.

    • the dude says:

      Au contraire, the constitution allows for you and I to be armed with state of the art weaponary. The founding father’s were smart enough to put that in quite clearly as they knew governments tend to get corrupt over time.

      If you can’t get with that you just need to get your little white kerchief out, start waving it around and move to France with the coneheads.

      • rkcal says:

        It’s “weaponry”…. but I guess you don’t need to be able to spell it to shoot it. Somehow knowing that “the dude” and “smartman” are at the ready to protect this humble metropolis from whatever imaginary boogeyman is in their heads today does make France sound a mite more palatable.

        • the dude says:

          I humbly sumbit to the spelling police on here; yes, I spelled weaponry wrong. So shoot me, if you are able 😉

          Yes, please go somewhere like GB or France where street corner cameras bark orders at you if you get out of line and only the criminals carry guns. If you are cool with giving up all your rights the door is wide open. Don’t let it hit you in the keyster on the way out chief.

        • smartman says:

          I choose not to be so naive to think that I am always safe at all times under all conditions. People have been killed at church, school, work, shopping malls, movie theaters, walking to their cars…..everywhere. I truly hope that you are never faced with a gun or knife wielding assailant without any option other than death.

          • rkcal says:

            Look, I know this is an argument with no end, but, Smartman, Dude, et. al., I humbly ask you to reflect on exactly WHY you are not safe at church school, work, shopping malls, movie theaters, walking to cars, everywhere in America………the irony fairly drips.

          • the dude says:

            I don’t C&C rkcal because I don’t feel I personally need to but I appreciate that the right IS THERE to exercise if I feel the need. If we take away all guns and gun rights from the people then who has the guns? Criminals and the military, that’s who.

            Like I said previously our forefathers wrote the second amendment to protect the people from corrupt government, if you take that away you basically have a police state where the leaders have no fear of the people.

            Government should always fear the people they represent, not the other way around. Think of it as another check and balance in the distribution of powers here in our great republic. Government serves WE THE PEOPLE, not the other way around.

            If that makes me a little less safe when I exit the front door of my domicile, that is something I am willing to live with. Like I also said before, if you have issues with that the door is open for you to walk out of- nobody is forcing you to stay here.

  5. Orphan of the Road says:

    smartman, I have yet to read he suited up after propping the door open. Rather he opened the door, tossed the gas canister and began firing. Are you just being truthier?

    What you are saying is a variation of If the dog hadn’t stopped to take a dump, it would have gotten away. If, if, if, if.

    America is an armed camp and Liberals don’t take the Second Amendment seriously (for the most part). Those who do have CC too. But having a CC and knowing what to do in a situation such as this are not mutually inclusive.

    Somethings can’t be prevented, no matter how many laws you pass.

  6. whatever happened to Batgirl says:

    He thought he was going to be an unstoppable supervillain but he goofed. In 20 years there will be 12 new batmans.

  7. Super Dave says:

    The time of day had nothing to do with it. Could have been a 7pm show when he decided to go off his nut. But smartman is right he could have been put down or kept down till more help arrived. Starting to think the pain of dealing with a conceal and carry just might start making more sense.

  8. smartman says:

    Orphan, I heard several tv and radio reports late in the day restating and confirming that he bought a ticket to the movie, entered the auditorium, left through an emergency exit at the front or side of the auditorium, propped the door open, suited up and then returned. I stand to be corrected but it does sound very plausible and offered a way for him to enter as he did.

    • Orphan of the Road says:

      smartman, I did read it later. And tried to put in the comments while Hearne held that post. I applaud Hearne for the new layout.

      Before I posted I had just read the the gunman was a Tea Party member, or maybe a registered Democrat. Hurt my ankle jumping to that conclusion of you being truthier.

      Lots of chaff to sort through yesterday. So many words, so little information.

      My advice? Wear your cup, protect yourself at all times and when life seems like easy street, there is danger at the door…

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