‘Dark Knight Rises’ Shooting Should Not Affect Box Office Gross, Says Movie Expert

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Attendance will likely remain historically high this weekend for The Dark Knight Rises — despite Friday’s horrific shooting tragedy in Colorado at a midnight screening of the film.

The film, which opens Friday, is pegged to earn around $180-$200 million in its debut weekend. Many of the first-weekend tickets were already pre-sold — so few tickets are left to buy.

If there will be some box office impact, it will likely be only by a few million dollars less, says a Hollywood industry insider. So, maybe $177-197 million.

“I think that you will find some diminishing in box office this weekend, but it’s not going to be significant,” Yahoo! Movies editor Thelma Adams told Celebuzz Friday. “If there hadn’t been a big presale and sold out, maybe it would be a different story.”

Warner Bros.’ The Dark Knight Rises is opening on more than 4,400 screens in the U.S. this weekend — more than any other movie this year — and had midnight screenings on 3,700 screens.

In light of the serious nature of the tragedy — several box office experts — a group that is often known for commenting in media reports — were not eager to speculate on how the shooting would affect receipts.

Several box office experts did not respond to Celebuzz’s requests for comment on this story, including Box Office Mojo. AP reports that Paul Dergarabedian, an oft-quoted box office authority for Hollywood.com, declined to comment for the AP’s story.

“Asking that question, you have to say that the primary concern is the people who passed away, the people in the theater, and how disturbing that incident was,” Adams says. “The box office concern is secondary. The primary concern is the human cost.”

Dark Knight Rises is one of the rare films that will play in theaters all summer — as The Avengers did earlier this summer.

With the Olympics starting next weekend — box office is expected to be down — but the 2008 Olympics did not affect 2008’s The Dark Knight, with Heath Ledger. Its haul was more than $533 million.

Dark Knight Rises is likely to make a run at its third-place-all-time gross of The Dark Knight.

Dark Knight Rises is also an internationally driven movie, in addition to the U.S. — whereas the Colorado shooting is unlikely to affect worldwide grosses, which will almost certainly top $1 billion.

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