Ticket sales for Warner Bros.’ The Dark Knight Rises came in below projections made before a shooting at a premiere of the movie killed 12 people in Aurora, Colorado, according to an analyst.
The movie earned in the range of $155 million to $165 million, estimates Jeff Bock, an analyst for Exhibitor Relations Co. Before the violence at the Cinemark Holdings Inc. (CNK) theater, it was expected to generate $170 million to $198 million in its first three days, the estimates of researchers Fizziology and Boxoffice.com.
That would still place the film among the top five weekend openings ever, according to Box Office Mojo, an online publication tracking ticket sales. The first in the series, The Dark Knight, with $158.4 million in opening weekend sales, is ranked third after Marvel’s The Avengers and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the site says.
Some families may have made other plans after the shooting, “and the casual fan may have turned away as well,” Bock said. “Everybody’s very mindful of it.”
Warner Bros., owned by Time Warner Inc. (TWX), and other Hollywood studios aren’t reporting official sales figures, with some issuing statements citing sensitivity to the victims. Studios typically report figures for weekend sales every Sunday. Warner, based in Burbank, California, also has curbed promotion of the movie, one of the year’s most anticipated.
“Out of respect for the victims and their families, Warner Bros. Pictures will not be reporting box office numbers for The Dark Knight Rises throughout the weekend,” Warner Bros. said in a statement on July 20. “Box office numbers will be released on Monday.”
Warner Bros. canceled its Paris premiere and some network TV spots were pulled, people familiar with the situation said. The studio also scrapped plans for events in Tokyo and Mexico City, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.
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