Hollywood puts box office on mute after shootings

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NEW YORK — Hollywood studios are aligning in a rare show of solidarity to give their weekend box-office reporting a rest because of the shootings in Colorado at a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Sony, Fox, Disney and Universal said Saturday that they are joining “Dark Knight Rises” distributor Warner Bros. in withholding their box-office numbers for the weekend.

Warner Bros. announced Friday that it would forgo the usual revenue reports until Monday out of respect for the victims and their families in the shooting that killed 12 and wounded 58 at the midnight show earlier in the day.

Sony, Disney and Universal said they would not be reporting numbers until Monday, while Chris Aronson, head of distribution for Fox, said the studio plans to still announce box-office receipts Sunday. Paramount and Lionsgate did not immediately say whether they were joining as well.

Sunday box-office estimates are a weekly routine for Hollywood, with studios jostling for bragging rights as the No. 1 movie and always aiming to break revenue records.

Before the shooting in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater at a midnight screening of the new Batman film, the box-office performance of “The Dark Knight Rises” had been eagerly anticipated. The film is expected to be among the most lucrative movie openings and possibly contend with the record $207.4 million brought in by “The Avengers.”

But that now appears unlikely, even though “The Dark Knight Rises” earned $30.6 million from midnight screenings alone.

Warner Bros. rushed to react to the tragedy, immediately canceling a Friday night premiere in Paris. On Saturday, it also canceled the other remaining red-carpet extravaganzas in Mexico City and Tokyo.

The studio, a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., also moved to pull trailers from its upcoming film “Gangster Squad” from theaters. The trailer of the film, which stars Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling in a ruthless war between Los Angeles police and the mob, includes a scene of mobsters firing into a crowded movie theater from behind the screen.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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