Fans still flocking to see 'Dark Knight'
STATE COLLEGE — After months of fan anticipation and media attention, “The Dark Knight Rises,” the final installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, was released on July 19 at midnight.
A short time later, shots rang out in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater as a gunman opened fire on movie-goers, killing 12 and injuring another 58 people.
Though the massacre may have deterred some from heading to theaters, many avid fans still made their way to watch the Caped Crusader on the silver screen.
Despite the tragedy, Warner Bros. reported that box office totals were more than $160 million in North America for the opening weekend. The movie has made nearly $354 million since it opened less than a month ago.
The Colorado tragedy didn't deter Penn State senior Pradeep Karunanidhi from going to see the film. Though he doesn’t normally see movies on opening weekend, Karunanidhi had eagerly been awaiting the release of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
After watching the trailer and cast interviews, his anticipation increased.
“Some interviews with the cast members said they didn’t think anything could top ‘The Dark Knight’ until they read the script for this movie. That’s saying something, especially coming from high caliber actors,” Karunanidhi said.
He feels because Batman has no superpowers, people can relate to him easier than other superheroes.
“It is easy to fall in love with Batman because like he said in the movie anyone can do what he does,” Karunanidhi said.
Like Karunanidhi, Peter Sabol of State College couldn’t wait for the release of the newest Batman movie. His love of the first two films in the series, Nolan and Christian Bale made Sabol want to be a part of the opening weekend experience.
“I like Batman sure, but I am more of a Nolan and Bale fan. I was initially drawn to the Nolan Batman trilogy because of Nolan himself, Bale and Liam Neeson,” he said.
Penn State sophomore Matt Hohn said because of his dislike of crowds, he doesn’t usually go to movies on opening weekend. But because of his boyhood admiration for Batman, the opening of “The Dark Knight Rises” was a different story.
Because of the popularity of the movie, Hohn purchased tickets online ahead of time to avoid lines.
“The theater was packed. There were no empty seats,” he said.
Though many theaters may have sold out, Maddie Groves, 22, of Boulder, Colo., is one fan who could no longer bring herself to head to a theater after the shooting.
Groves, a recent Penn State graduate, had previously wanted to see the movie with her boyfriend because of the hype created by the media and the fact that her cousin had interned on the movie set in Pittsburgh.
“We had plans to see the movie in Boulder this past Saturday, a day after the shootings. I decided not to go because I knew that during the movie I wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about all the innocent people sitting there doing exactly what I was doing before the shooting started,” she said.
Though Groves was looking forward to seeing the action movie in theaters, she stands by her decision to not attend.
“It’s scary to think that one little decision to see a movie has changed so many people’s lives forever,” she said.