In the aftermath of the Aurora theater shooting, which has left 12 dead and dozens injured, some fans who were eager to see "Dark Knight Rises" are now putting their plans on hold out of fear of copycat shooters.
On Friday morning, Warner Bros Studios took the lead by canceling the film's Paris premiere and released the following statement to the press:
"Warner Bros. is deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time."
Regular screenings of the film will go on as scheduled and some fans, such as Joey Garcia of Texas, are undeterred by the tragedy. "I actually plan on watching the film today," he told Fox News. "It's terrible what happened but you can't cease to live your life out of fear of what may happen.”
Others, aren't quite so eager to see the long-awaited sequel to the 2008's "The Dark Knight," which will bring the blockbuster trilogy to a close.
"I feel hesitant now because part of me will feel guilty for enjoying the movie theater experience while so many others weren't able to," Kelsey Hanlon, 21, of Brighton, Mich told Hollywood.com.
"Gonna wait until after opening weekend to see The Dark Knight Rises in case some copycat psycho shows up with a mac-10 and starts spraying," wrote Andy Tiller on his Twitter page, while user Shay Calloway, wrote: "Dark Knight is gonna lose a lot of $$ because of what happened in Colorado. I'll wait until it comes out on DVD."
It appears that fans aren't the only one worried about copycat shooters, as police departments around the world have reportedly beefed up security at screenings.
"As a precaution against copycats and to raise the comfort levels among movie patrons in the wake of the horrendous shooting in Colorado, the New York City Police Department is providing coverage at theaters where the 'The Dark Knight Rises' is playing in the five boroughs," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in a statement.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a source at U.K. exhibitor Cineworld said the theater chain is increasing security measures at its 79 locations, but declined to reveal details about the nature of the increased security. THR also reports that Cinemax33, a German group that has 33 cinemas across Germany and Denmark, has also increased security measures to try to comfort worried theater-goers.
Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams writes:
"Movie theaters and the act of group entertainment are going to be heightened experiences now, fraught with the pain of history. We’re going to feel different when the lights go down."