Colorado Shooting Impacts Fan’s Interest in Movie


How much does our society really react to current events when deciding to go out and see a movie or stay inside for the day? Is it even a factor? Over the summer when our nation was struck with the tragedy of the Colorado shooting at the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, the public had a grave and instant response. Not only did the tragedy influence our perceptions of mass media and gun control laws, but surprisingly, the opinions of moviegoers as well. If anything helpful can be taken from this event, it is the understanding of what happens when national tragedy collides with mass entertainment.

According to The Telegraph, The Dark Knight Rises faced a 60% drop at the box office on its second weekend. The common public was shocked with a sense of fright. Many Americans were scared to enter the dark movie theatre, with the idea that a masked gunman could jump out at anytime and harm them. The man guilty for the shootings true intentions were to try and kill the cast of the movie, but decided that the risks of traveling across country were too much for him. He settled on the movie theatre in Colorado where he harmed innocent civilians and ruined the thought of attending movies for several weeks.

The media coverage of this event seemed almost immediate. The footage of screaming women, children, and men running for their lives was a site no one wanted to witness. Each newspaper, magazine, radio station, internet site, and news station seemed to carry more and more detail of how truly insane this guy really was. This is a prefect example of how one news story can completely change how someone acts towards someone or something. Just the week before, it seemed as if almost everyone was counting down the hours for this Batman finale, but after one horrifying event, people’s interest in seeing the movie was drastically altered.

This event put a shadow on the opening of the movie and the public’s involvement in the movie, since almost no one could discuss the movie without thinking about the shooting. Although box office numbers weren’t a concern after such a horrible event, they are a good indication of how the public reacts when such an event happens. We should be aware, as a society, of how outside forces unrelated to the movie can affect how we see media. The movie itself can not be held accountable for the shooter’s actions but the connection between the two is too difficult to overlook. Inevitably, the public will associate one with the other whenever either topic comes up in conversation. Therefore, the media is not immune to the world around it and based on current situations the public may be more or less inclined to see a particular movie than they had been before.

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