'The Dark Knight Rises'

Despite the shooting rampage at a midnight showing in Colorado that left 12 people dead and 70 people wounded, The Dark Knight Rises earned an estimated $162 million over the weekend, putting the movie behind only Marvel’s The Avengers and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 among highest openings ever (not adjusted for inflation).

Prerelease estimates for the movie, the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, had been between $180 million and $200 million. It’s safe to assume the shooting suppressed attendance though it is impossible to quantify the effect.

Studios did not officially release box office figures out of respect for the victims of the carnage in Aurora, Colo., but studio executives with access to the information released it to major media outlets, such as the New York Times.

Hollywood collectively, either out of a show of respect or to try to contain any public relations damage, also took other measures because of the shooting. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had planned a screening of The Dark Knight Rises and Q&A with the cinematographer Wally Pfister for Saturday night. The screening went on as planned, but the Q&A was cancelled.

Despite concerns about possible copycat events or theaters canceling screenings, there were no other major incidents over the weekend. The Dark Knight Rises
benefited from strong advance sales. Many shows were sold out well in advance of the shooting, with IMAX sales particularly strong.

Ice Age: Continental Drift came in second for the weekend, earning $21 million in its second week of release, bringing its two-week total to about $90 million, according to the Times.

Rounding out the top five were The Amazing Spider-man with $11 million, Ted with an estiamted $10 million and Brave with about $6 million.

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    Eric Harrison reviewed movies and covered film for a decade for the Los Angeles Times and Houston Chronicle. His movie coverage continues here on InsideMovies.net. You also can read Eric's movie coverage geared to Houston, the nation's fourth largest city, on MovieHouston.com. Find out more at EricHarrison.org.
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