Several days ago, I determined to write a piece asking investors whether they still liked shares of Warner Bros. Studios parent Time Warner (NYSE: TWX ) now that The Dark Knight Rises is bringing the trilogy from director Christopher Nolan to an end.
Now the very idea of writing anything that pairs the phrase "Dark Knight" with "end" seems, well, awful.
Early Friday morning, about 20 miles from where I was safely watching the midnight premiere of the film in Highlands Ranch, Colo., an armed madman killed 12 and injured at least 58 others at a screening in the Denver suburb of Aurora. Warner canceled a red-carpet premiere in Paris in response.
I'm angry this happened. I'm sure many of us are. But as USA Today's Claudia Puig eloquently wrote:
This horrific incident has shaken us all deeply. Amid lost lives, terrible injuries, and the quest to understand the incomprehensible, it may seem beside the point to urge people to keep going to the movies. But that is what must be done.
Do you feel similarly? Once thought to be a challenger to the Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS ) billion-dollar blockbuster Marvel's The Avengers, the final installment of Nolan's Batman epics now faces the specter of fearful audiences choosing to stay away. Warner would lose out on profits in that case. So would IMAX (Nasdaq: IMAX ) , which is banking on sold-out premium screenings to help boost earnings.
For his part, Nolan offered condolences to victims of the shooting in a statement issued yesterday:
Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Rises, I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community. I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families.
Such sentiments are almost all we, as observers, can offer. We can also go see The Dark Knight Rises. Where do you stand? Did you see the movie this weekend? Have you already seen it? It's time to weigh in. Please vote in the poll below and then leave a comment in the box below to tell us what you think.
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