We understand that media outlets doing wall-to-wall coverage of last night's shooting at the Aurora Town Center Century 16 during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rise have to look at every possible angle of the story.
But excuse me for being repulsed by stories speculating about whether the bloodshed will hurt the movie's chances for a blockbuster opening weekend.
The statement issued by Dark Knight Rises studio Warner Bros. on behalf of the company and the filmmakers, including director Christopher Nolan, wisely avoids any reference to filthy lucre. It reads:
Warner Bros. and the filmmakers are 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.
In recent hours, however, we're seeing more and more stories like the Fox News post "Could Colorado theater massacre hurt The Dark Knight Rises at the box office?" Among its bon mots: a comment from an industry source who thinks the flick may fall short of the $200 million mark for the weekend (oh no!), a reference to a stock-market dip for theater stocks (the horror!) and the suggestion that a post-rampage increase in security at movie complexes could lead to an increase in ticket prices (typical).
Such subjects have a certain legitimacy, I suppose, and there's no question an event of this magnitude may have an impact on pop culture. After the 1999 attack on Columbine High School, Marilyn Manson was pilloried because killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were supposedly fans, Buffy the Vampire Slayer delayed an episode that had a school-shooter theme, and so on.
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But is it too much to ask that questions about the size of the mintThe Dark Knight Rises will generate over the next couple of days wait at least until the ten bodies currently in theater nine at the Aurora Century 16 are removed?
More from our Aurora Theater Shooting archive: "Aurora theater shooting: 12 dead, 59 injured, chief won't address Joker rumors."