Theater Shooting at Colorado ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Screening; Paris Premiere Cancelled

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 20th, 2012 at 12:00 pm,

The Dark Knight Rises Theater Shooting Theater Shooting at Colorado Dark Knight Rises Screening; Paris Premiere Cancelled

The Dark Knight Rises, one of – if not the – most anticipated films of 2012, opened in theaters last night to record-breaking midnight screening numbers (estimated at $27 million). However, even while fans on the West Coast were standing in line to get their chance to see Christopher Nolan’s final Batman film at 12:01 AM (or 3:00 AM in some cases), tragedy had already struck a local theater in Aurora, Colorado – when an armed gunman walked into a midnight screening of the film and opened fire.

Police first received reports of the shooting at 12:39 AM (MST) but, before they could get to the scene, the gunman had already taken the lives of at least twelve moviegoers and wounded fifty nine others.

While plenty of details still have to be worked out, investigators have pieced together a rough picture of the event through eyewitness reports (we’ll update when an “official” timeline is released).

The suspect, believed to be James Holmes (a 24-year-old Aurora man) donned a gas mask and Kevlar before gaining access to the theater through an emergency exit. Once inside, the man stepped in front of the screen, threw out tear gas canisters and opened fire on the audience. At first, some members of the attendees didn’t even realize they were in danger – thinking that the “smoke” and gunfire were special simulated effects for the midnight show. According to CNN reports, the shooter brought at least four guns, described as “an ‘AK type’ rifle, a shotgun and two handguns” (one of which was left in his car) – some of the bullets even injured moviegoers in an adjacent theater. Several victims remain in critical condition (at the time of this writing) and both a nine year-old and three month-old are among the wounded.

Holmes was quickly apprehended after the event behind the theater and, according to police spokesperson Frank Fania, “He did not resist. He did not put up a fight.” Investigators then traveled to Holmes’ apartment – evacuating the complex after the gunman mentioned something about explosive materials. Upon arrival, police found “items of interest” and a “sophisticated” sequence of flammable traps. The gunman is believed to have worked alone (there’s no evidence of a second shooter) – and does not appear to have ties to any form of terrorist organizations.

The Dark Knight Rises Christian Bale Theater Shooting at Colorado Dark Knight Rises Screening; Paris Premiere Cancelled

Audiences attend movies for a variety of reasons and, no doubt, one of the most obvious is to get away from the horrors of the real world – to escape into fictional stories where we can be thrilled and moved without consequence. As a result of the shooting, Warner Bros. has cancelled tonight’s Dark Knight Rises premiere in Paris – as well as suspending interviews and other media events:

“Warner Bros. is deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time.”

Additionally, as is the case following similar shooting events in the past, police around the country (and world) will be on patrol for potential copycats – with New York City police commissioner, Raymond Kelly, already indicating that the city will be beefing up security at theaters:

“As a precaution against copycats and to raise the comfort levels among movie patrons in the wake of the horrendous shooting in Colorado, the New York City Police Department is providing coverage at theaters where the ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is playing in the five boroughs.”

Hopefully that “coverage” will keep everyone safe this weekend – so that movie lovers can enjoy The Dark Knight Rises (read our review) without further incident.

Screen Rant would like to express our sincere condolences to the friends and family of those affected by the Aurora shooting at this difficult time.


Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick.

The Dark Knight Rises is now open in U.S. theaters (2D and IMAX).

Source: CNN, NBC & Warner Bros.

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  1. Really sad story. Condolences to the families of the victims.

    BTW, what is a three month old doing at a midnight showing in the first place, or a movie theater in general?

    • It’s not uncommon to bring your infant to the movies. At the time, the kid would probably just sleep through the movie and none would be the wiser. I have never done it but it does happen.

      My problem is when there 5 and 6 and it’s a horror film.

      Having said all of that. This is a truly sad day. This did not need to happen. I don’t want to speculate but it was probably a discgruntled boyfriend.

    • Agreed. Parents shouldn’t bring a baby to a movie just because they want to see something.

      • Why not?

        • Because all the child ends up doing is crying because the movie is loud or they are hungry and if the child is over 5 years of age they talk through the entire movie because they don’t understand it. Personally i think children under the age of 10 should be banned from seeing any M or pg13 movie unless it is a parent only session time. I say this because i am sick of paying $20+ to see a movie (to relax and escape into another world) and then end up hearing an infant crying throughout a movie.

  2. I am deeply saddened by this, stupid people are speculating that there was motivation and anything you think is ridiculous! Nothing can explain this besides he was insane, I am dismayed to see people joking about this situation online and they should be ashamed. I know down the future people will use this incident to describe how the box office turns out, and I loved the film and want it to do great, but is comparisons between Marvel & DC appropriate when people have died? No, not really. Prayers and thoughts with the family and friends of those affected by this horrific event.

  3. I am deeply saddened by this, stupid people are speculating that there was motivation and anything you think is ridiculous! Nothing can explain this besides he was insane, I am dismayed to see people joking about this situation online and they should be ashamed. I know down the future people will use this incident to describe how the box office turns out, and I loved the film and want it to do great, but is comparisons between Marvel & DC appropriate when people have died? No, not really. Prayers and thoughts with the family and friends of those affected by this horrific event.

  4. Tragic, I completely despise people like this who hate their lives and decide to take down a bunch of innocent people with them. In my opinion, these kinds of people are worse than terrorists. Because although thoroughly messed up and deluded, terrorists usually kill for a twisted sense of juctice/purpose. Their perception of the world itself is twisted and different from ours. And although I hate them too, they have a motivation.

    People like this… they are the cur of society. f*** them, and I hope they all die.

  5. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families of this horrendous incident.
    It truly is a monstrous thing that’s happened and the b@$tard responsible deserves nothing but to burn in hell IMO.

  6. I hope this Holmes is perfectly healthy tip he goes to jail. Once inmates learn he killed children, its over for that guy.

  7. The theater and/or police security should have been there from the start not after a horrible tragedy like this took place, im very saddened by this.
    my heart goes out to the family of the victims
    God rest their soul.

  8. situations like this are always so scary, especially when the attacker willingly gives himself to the police. This guy probably has a really good lawyer and lots of money and will likely get out of most of his jail time.

  9. So can they stop selling guns in Colorado now? This is unbelievably sad.

    • Why stop selling guns? So more of the same violence can happen with knives and blunt objects. I like having a piece of mind knowing I can go for my gun if the situation permits it. Better to have one and not need it than protecting yourself with a sharp corner of a gogurt box.

      • I don’t think this guy could’ve even come close to killing and injuring that many people if he had a ‘knife or blunt object’. Guns are bad news and should be outlawed outright.

        • @mark – I respect your right to your own opinion. Let’s leave our opinions on guns out of this particular conversation though please.


          Paul Young – Moderator

          • Apologies, the above comment just riled me is all. Never commented before. Love the site. Just a sad thing to have happened

        • Considering this guy had an explosive at the theater and his apartment is rigged..pretty sure he didn’t need the guns.

          Tragic. When I first checked the site this morning I saw the post but figured someone got mad in line and shot someone. Didn’t expect it to be a killing spree. Wow. Honestly a little sketched to go watch it tonight.

      • With all due respect my friend, do you think mass shootings can happen with knives?

        There were people at the scene with guns but apparently didn’t pull out their pieces for fear of being mistaken for the shooter.

        I live in the UK, and whilst I’m sure we have our fair share of the mentally ill, ours can’t access guns easily, which I believe is part of the reason we very rarely have these kinds of incidents.

        Just voicing my opinion, I don’t want to get into a fight as it would be a dishonour to the deceased. May they rest in peace.

        • @Paul, sorry just saw your post after posting mine.

        • Chicago outlawed guns and it is the single most dangerous place on earth for Americans, including Afghanistan and Iraq. Assault Rifles are illegal so only criminals get access to them while law abiding citizens are out-gunned.

          Those of you blaming this on gun control need to think again. True, the UK has less crime, although you have much less freedom and an increasing amount of Middle Eastern terrorists occupying your country. Nobody’s perfect, but I’ll take the freedoms of the USA any day.

      • compare other countries where waepons not leagal (civilized countries, not iran, iraque etc.) to america. such things didnt happend this much.

    • Ugh, really? I like my rights so please get off your high horse and using a tragedy to further your own beliefs.

      • This is what people pushing an agenda look for. Already ABC has tried to blame the Tea Party, saying “Someone with the same name joined the Tea Party last year.” It was Jim, not James, and they were nowhere near the same age. But, if you put it out there, people don’t bother to check the facts.

        • @Capnadolny – You said your piece now let’s move along to another subject please.

          Paul Young – Moderator

  10. I feel for the families that lost their loved ones. No family should go through this ever.

  11. I pray for the victims and every family effected by this. It is a harsh reminder that real evil exists in every walk of life. As someone with a mentally ill family member, I think there needs to be easier ways to get mandatory treatment for those who refuse to get it themselves. Of course, I don’t know the details, but I can imagine he was very insane.

  12. My prayers and thoughts to all the families of the incident. Truly saddened that our world is this sick where people can’t even go to the movies anymore and have to feel scared or unsecure. It is very scary and heartbreaking. All they wanted was to see batman and they have to go through that. I couldn’t ren imagine.

  13. A very sad incident, my thoughts go out to all involved.

    Not wanting to get involved in a debate or a spat with NRA members, I know it’s in your constitution, but incidents like this happen far too often.
    It happens in the UK, but thankfully few and far between. I’m glad guns aren’t sold in shopping malls here.

    An awful thing for someone to do, I hope the punishment is fitting.
    RIP the 12 souls and I wish the injured the best.

    • That’s like saying “With all due respect” and insulting someone. Guess what, when the large al quaeda faction decides to take action (Yeah, there are a bunch of them in your country.) we will see if you want your guns then.

  14. Terrible. Those people and their families are in my thoughts.

  15. When I saw this come through in the early morning I was shocked and thought this must be a mistake. I will never understand how cowards can attack innocent unsuspecting people, especially the children. My Prayers go out to the victims and families.

  16. This is absolutely horrible. ANYONE can get a gun, almost ANYWHERE they want, ak, uzi… whatever, THAT’s THE PROBLEM! And to anyone who disagrees, I disagree with you.

  17. Ban all guns already!!

  18. Hey guys. This is an incredibly sad day for all the families involved with the shooting and it transcends everything, especially something as trivial as a movie and it is only natural to have strong emotions regarding it but I have a request.

    I’m a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment, exercise my right to own and carry a gun and will happily discuss how to better enforce our current laws and how to best prevent a tragedy like this from happening in the future BUT…this thread isn’t the place to hold those discussions.

    I’d rather this not turn into a political-type discussion regarding gun ownership and laws. Let’s keep it focused on the loss of the families please. There are plenty of other sites to hold 2nd Amendment discussions.

    Thank you for you understanding and cooperation.

    Paul Young – Moderator

    • Well said. Too many in the media are ALREADY exploiting this tragedy to further a political agenda.

      Blame the villain, not his tool of choice.

      God be with the victims and their families.

    • Just to be clear: the 2nd amendment is not a blanket “hey anyone can haz guns” thing.

      “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

      a “well regulated militia”… in other words, this is in the days before the US had a full-time organized armed forces. It relied on citizens bearing arms (“a well regulated militia”) to defend the country.

      It had nothing to do with Joe Shmoe in Kalamazoo being allowed to carry a semi-automatic rifle, just “because he felt like it”.

      But whatever. The damage is done.

      • Your interpretation of the second amendment is a little off.
        ““A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.””
        This speaks of the individuals of a state to keep and bear arms to keep the federal government in honest check. That is what a Militia is not a federal military. The founding fathers knew eventually if unchecked the federal government would grow in power, which it has, and not keep the the best interest of the people at heart. THAT is the reason for the 2nd amendment.
        Oh and this from WWII:
        Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto of Japan – “You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass.”

      • So to be clear, Mike E, since your gun rant, or more specific, your uninformed and misguided belief, was in response to the moderator asking not to discuss gun laws, you just don’t give a **** about the request to NOT discuss guns.

        Paul didn’t say, “Hey everyone, please go to another site to discuss your gun law theories unless you happen to be for gun control.”

        He asked you to please go to another site to discuss this stuff. Yet, you just put it right in the reply to his request. Wow.

  19. Whether he was looking for it or not, I can see the symbolism [Bane] is this horrendous act. Too bad we didn’t have a Batman there…

    • Funny, I made a similar comment but it was deleted by some “moderator”.

      • @Nagai – Actually the only thing your comment said was “I guess that guy wanted to be Bane or something.” Nothing referring to the act itself or showing sympathy for the tragic loss of life.

        The comment above compares the Bane symbolism to the act itself. I don’t find that to be in bad taste like I did yours.


        Paul Young – “Moderator”

        • I thought I wrote something else, I must be confusing that with something I wrote on another site >.> Anyway, sorry for the ‘distasteful’ comment. Just because I didn’t say I felt sorry for the victims of this pointless killing doesn’t mean I didn’t feel any sympathy for them.

  20. Commenting on something like this is very hard because there is really very little to say. Of course, you never want to get into a debate about guns, or why this happens. It just does. This has nothing to do with the movie, and I hope that people do not blame the movie or Batman or anything for causing this. The guy simply used this opportunity as an outlet for whatever anger or rage he had. That he had access to high-powered weapons obviously made it easier to act out. The important point should be on how he acquired these weapons instead of whether such weapons should have been available for purchase. That is a much bigger debate which is not at issue. Obviously, no one wants guns in the wrong hands. But it happens. So how do you prevent that, and how do you know what the wrong hands are?
    If he didn’t have access to guns, it likely would have made it harder for him to act out, but would not have prevented him becoming so disturbed as to push him this far. That’s another important point. What causes people to become like this?
    But let’s put out a hypothetical here. Let’s say you were a fine, law-abiding citizen. You are legally allowed to conceal a loaded automatic pistol on your person. You’ve done your time at the range, you generally know how to fire and handle the weapon. Say you happen to be watching this movie as this madman comes in. Would you know what to do? Would you be willing to engage this guy in a firefight? Knowing that he has you seriously outgunned? Knowing that in an extremely stressful and frightened emotional state, you probably would more likely shoot an innocent person or miss completely? Interesting question.
    Paul, I respect your request for not discussing stuff about the 2nd amendment here. You can delete my post if you want. But, I’m not encouraging commentary. I just want everyone to think about what they would do if we all exercised our 2nd Amendment rights to its hypothetical fullest.

    • @Maopheus – You’re OK. Comment will stand but let’s leave it at that.

      Thanks bud.


      • Paul, I’m sorry I had to respond to some of the comments left up there b/c I also exercise my 2nd Amendment rights and I love the freedoms this country allows. Unfortunately, the victims will largely get lost in this race to blame (lack of) gun laws by liberals or those who live in countries with not even a tenth of our freedoms.

  21. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families. I pray that those who are still in intensive care will have a swift recovery and that the families of those who were killed find some measure of comfort and peace in this grief-filled time.

    On another note, it is a sad commentary of our times when I have to second guess my decision to take my child to a movie theater for a blockbuster night.

  22. One can have no sense of a senseless act.
    One cannot comprehend the incomprehensible.

    There a few certainties in the aftermath of such a tragedy.
    The greatest certainty is grief. The unbearable pain of loss.

    Another certainty is no matter what theories be tendered,
    this was murder. And mass murder. The willful taking of lives.

    The transformation of a night of intended joy into speechless horror
    is a manifestation of cruelty that bears the DNA of all that is Evil.

    My ticket for today has been waiting on my desk for this day to arrive.
    It will remain there as a marking stone to stand in solidarity with the fallen.

  23. This is the type of thing you never want to hear about under any circumstance, my condolences to the families and the innocent people who just wanted to go see a movie.

    As for the other issues that will stem from this, the only problem is people control. Too many people living in a black hole where they devolve into something that would carry out an act like this.

  24. this is horrible I’m shocked that this things still happen. I blame the theater for not having the proper security knowing it’s a midnight show and allowing a guy enter through an exit door? That’s ridiculous they should’ve been more careful. My thoughts and condolence to the families of the victims and the ones in the hospital I wish them a proper recovery

    • If someone like this wants to do this kind of horrible act, he will do it, no matter what security does. Theater security cannot be expected to deal with or prepare for a mass murderer. Their job is primarily to make sure people don’t sneak in who have not bought a ticket. Having said all of that, if it can be shown that they were at least somewhat deficient in doing their expected job, then that should be a lesson learned for all other theaters. Especially, large multiple screen cinemas. Perhaps he had staked the place out, and was aware of the holes in security that he could exploit. Who knows. Apparently he was a smart guy, and had planned and prepared for this for a while.

    • This guy had multiple guns and body armor, no security or movie personal would have been able to do anything about him getting in there aside from getting killed first and possibly raising an alarm sooner. It’s a movie theater, nobody there is trained for this or even thinks about it.

    • Blame the theater? Seriously?

      Bottom line is, you cannot prevent every tragedy. Every time you walk out your front door you run the risk (however small) of not returning, simply by doing your day-to-day routine. It’s life.

    • Blame the theaters?! Ha. Do you think some minimum wage pimple faced kid is able to handle something like this……Please give me your koolaid.

    • Uhhh … Henry, they can’t stop kids from letting their friends in through an exit door. Some things can’t be prevented. If a crazy person wants to do something tragic, he/she will find a way … that’s why they are called crazy.

  25. my condolences to the victims and there families.this shouldn’t have security personal should have been more watchful and as far as arms are concerned,with the level of corruption so high anyone can get there hands on arms.

  26. *their

  27. smh…horrible just horrible, my prayers goes out to those victims and their families.

  28. Sounds like the killer thought he was the Joker, and had even dyed his hair (according to ABC News). I always worried a bit that some people would take their admiration of the character too far.

    My sympathies to the families affected by the shooting. I guess this was one case where a real-life Batman certainly could have been useful.

  29. oh my gosh. they were just trying to watch a movie. a movie…I can’t believe that he would use such a joyous event for….what? what is the purpose? how long had he been planning this–when he first heard TDKR was announced? when he knew the villains in this? when he saw the trailer? this series already was laced with sadness and know this…years later on one of E!’s specials they are gonna call this movie a curse…..RIP to all the fallen and a speedy recovery to the injured.