U.S. shooting quiets Hollywood, slows "Dark Knight" box office

Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:24pm EDT
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By Ronald Grover and Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hollywood studios will not release box-offices figures on Sunday after the fatal gun rampage at a midnight showing for the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises," which made less money than some industry insiders projected.

The film grossed $74 million on Friday in the United States and Canada and is seen generating $173 million by the end of the weekend, people with knowledge of industry figures said on Saturday.

Official figures were not released by the distributor, Warner Bros. For the first time box office watchers could remember, Hollywood's other major film studios decided not to release weekend ticket sales figures on Saturday.

"We're joining our colleagues at Warner Bros and not reporting grosses during this period of mourning," Sony Pictures said in a statement.

Hollywood.com Box Office, which reports the weekend figures, said it was not sure if it would publish its list this week.

A Warner Brothers spokeswoman did not return calls seeking comment on Friday night numbers.

"Dark Knight Rises" was one of the most-anticipated films of the year before a gunman opened fire on moviegoers at a midnight screening in Aurora, Colorado, early Friday, killing 12 people and wounding 58 more.

Ahead of the debut, box office forecasters predicted opening weekend sales in a range of $170 million to $198 million from Friday through Sunday, just shy of the record $207 million set by superhero movie "The Avengers" in May.   Continued...

A poster for the Warner Bros. film "The Dark Knight Rises" is displayed at Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, California, July 20, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Prouser