Midnight 'The Dark Knight Rises' Showings Earn $27 Million Aloneby: Posted:
No movie in recent memory has experienced a more tumultuous seven days leading to its release than "The Dark Knight Rises." Unfortunately, a spectacular opening-night box office will be inevitably overshadowed by shocking tragedy.
SuperHeroHype.com's Friday-morning tally claims that Christopher Nolan's concluding Batman installment raked in $30.6 million from its 3,700 midnight premiere showings. That's nearly $10 million more than the $18 million made by "The Avengers" and despite several reviews claiming it to be inferior overall to 2008's "The Dark Knight," "Rises" surpassed its predecessor's $18.4 million take. "The Dark Knight" eventually made a then-record $158.4 million in its first weekend.
Nevertheless, "The Dark Knight Rises" still ranks behind the $43.5 million earned by last summer's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" midnight premieres.
For now, it's a blip of positive news that will be hopelessly drowned out by controversy and death. At 12:39 a.m. in Aurora, Colo., 911 operators were flooded with reportedly hundreds of calls as 24-year-old James Holmes stormed one showing a half-hour into the movie and opened fire on the audience. At last count, Holmes' rampage - which concluded with his apprehension in the parking lot by Aurora police - left 12 dead and 59 injured.
In its wake, New York and Los Angeles police have vowed heightened security at subsequent showings to guard against copycats. Warner Bros. announced nearly immediately after the incident that a planned Paris premiere event has been canceled.
Prior even to Friday morning's tragedy, the film had become a lightening rod. Fan threats against critics giving the film negative early reviews resulted in the first shut-down of user comments on reviews in RottenTomatoes.com's history (the site is owned by Flixster and Warner Bros.) Conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh once more wedged his way into headlines when he claimed on his syndicated radio show that the inclusion of Bane as a villain and themes of economic inequality are veiled shots across the bow at Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's controversial former involvement with the Bain Capital investment fund..