During Thursday's midnight release of "The Dark Knight Rises" at Century 16 Movie Theaters in Aurora, Colorado, a masked gunman entered the theater and opened fire, resulting in 12 fatalities and 59 injuries. According to ABC News, the tragic incident is the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, and although Warner Bros. initially stated that the shooting would not hinder the release of the anticipated summer blockbuster, a red carpet premiere and cast interviews in Paris have already been cancelled. Now, Variety reports the studio has pulled TV and radio spots advertising the film that were scheduled to run over the weekend.
Warner Bros. is expected to communicate with media partners about long-term plans for the highly anticipated final chapter in director Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. The tragedy has caused the studio to reevaluate its entire marketing campaign, pulling millions of dollars worth of advertising in a move which may be indicative of how much the shooting will affect what is arguably Warner's biggest film of the year.
Sources report that in some cases, "The Dark Knight Rises" television spots will be replaced by advertisements for other Warner Bros. or Time Warner products.