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'Dark Knight' Director Christopher Nolan Calls Aurora Shooting 'Unbearably Savage'

Warner Bros. says it will not release box office numbers this weekend out of respect for victims

Police on the scene at Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.
Thomas Cooper/Getty Images
July 21, 2012 10:15 AM ET

The Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan has released a statement responding to the horrific shooting that killed 12 people and wounded more than 70 at a midnight screening of the film in Aurora, Colorado.

"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," Nolan said, according to the Hollywood Reporter. "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," he continued. "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."

Dark Knight star Christian Bale released a statement of his own on Saturday, Reuters reports"Words cannot express the horror that I feel," he said. "I cannot begin to truly understand the pain and grief of the victims and their loved ones, but my heart goes out to them."

Hans Zimmer, who composed the score for The Dark Knight Rises, expressed similar feelings in an interview with Rolling Stone on Friday. "We're all devastated by what's happened. When we set up this interview, we didn't know that things would change. I was going to send a note to Chris [Nolan] ... but I didn't have the words," Zimmer said. "Suddenly, words become meaningless because it's so beyond anything. Devastated, I suppose, is the word."

Warner Bros. quickly canceled the film's premiere in Paris on Friday night and is likely to cancel the premieres and press junkets scheduled for Mexico City and Tokyo, according to Variety. Some TV networks also pulled promotional spots for the film that had been set to run this weekend, though it is unclear whether this move was initiated by the studio or the networks themselves. A marketing expert told Variety that the value of those lost opening weekend ads was likely between $3 and $5 million.

The Hollywood Reporter also notes that the studio has decided not to report its box office grosses for opening weekend. "Out of respect for the victims and their families, Warner Bros. Pictures will not be reporting box office numbers for The Dark Knight Rises throughout the weekend," the studio said in a statement released on Friday evening. "Box office numbers will be released on Monday." Several rival studios, independent distributors and box office data service Rentrak have said they will join Warner Bros. in the move. 

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