A Tough Decision for Dark Knight’s Studio

It wasn’t long after the Colorado shooting during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises on July 20 that questions arose as to whether the movie would be pulled from theaters nationwide. The Wrap reported that Warner Brothers, the studio behind the movie, was considering the cancellation of all screenings.

It’s an awful business decision any way you look at it: go ahead with the screenings and rake in the profits, and risk being perceived as heartless and insensitive; or cancel all screenings and forego huge profits.

The biggest risk for Warner is the possibility of a second act of violence, should it choose to go ahead with the screenings.

Whatever course of action Warner Brothers takes now will reflect long term on the company and the movie and, short term, possibly on the safety of moviegoers. I’m guessing that the company will cancel screenings for a short time—the risk of a copycat act is too great, and the cost of one more killing would be too high a price to pay, in every sense of the word.

—Steve Goldstein

Follow Steve Goldstein: @SGoldsteinAI 

  • Sherrell

    It’s a tough call but I think they should continue the screenings but give ticket sales to the victims and their families. Unless there is a strong protest for the cancellation of all screenings I don’t see it necessary. I’d even go as far as limiting the screenings to daytime screenings and adding security for theaters.

  • Curtis Pettit

    Tough spot? Yeah. Hard solution? Maybe. In my opinion, there is one way to come out a winner on both sides of the fence. 1.) Reduce the number of screenings by making the show play strictly at a certain time. 2.) Reduce the number of venues the show will play at. 3.) Provide extra security for the venues that will play the movie. This way, Warner Brothers would reduce the risk of a similar incident (surely not a guarantee that it will not happen, that is impossible to achieve)while giving the movie and its actors/actresses the showing that they deserve. Warner Brothers will come out of pocket to pocket to pay for security but they will also gain revenue from ticket sales. Win win, if you ask me.

  • Todd Mesek

    Turn it into an opportunity. On last Sunday’s AM new shows, one public official in Aurora mentioned how his daughter was rallying a bunch of friends to go to the theaters to take control, make a stand and rally behind the families. Warner Bros. should turn this into a rally for the families and, like Sherrel suggested, give a percentage of proceeds to the families or some related cause.