Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises is heading for a huge $80 to $90 million opening despite the tragic Colorado shooting at a midnight show early Friday morning. Early projections have the last installment of The Dark Knight trilogy to gross in the $175 million to $180 million range for the weekend opening; making it the second-best three-day debut of all time after Disney’s The Avengers’ $207 million opening.
These figures are on top of the $30.6 million in midnight earnings; making it the second largest gross for a midnight show behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows 2’s record shattering $43.5 million gross.
Ramped up security measures such as bag checks are in place for theatres across the country. All early projections could change if attendance drops off dramatically.
More details are coming out about the shooter involved in the midnight massacre. The shooter, believed to be James Holmes, a 24-year-old California man who moved to Colorado last year to attend medical school was taken into custody by police. He was found in the theatre parking and was taken into custody by police wearing a gas mask and bulletproof vest. Holmes entered the theatre from an emergency exit at the front of the theatre, threw a smoke bomb in front of the screen and opened fire on the audience. He had his hair painted red and claimed he was “The Joker,” the nemesis of Batman in 2008’s The Dark Knight movie.
At least 12 are reported dead, 57 overall said to be injured, and more in critical condition. Moviegoers in attendance at the Colorado show thought it was a publicity stunt at first until the shooter released tear gas over the crowd.
Police reported James Holmes was carrying an AR-15 assault rifle, Remmington 12-gauge shotgun, 40-caliber glock handgun, with another 40-caliber glock found in his car. It was confirmed that all guns in his possession were obtained illegally. An explosive device was also reported found in the theatre.