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The nation and Hollywood is in shock today after the shooting Friday morning at a suburban Colorado theater screening of "The Dark Knight Rises," but the movie business continues as does the news surrounding it.
Pre-release polling indicated unprecedented interest in "Rises" and those who attended midnight showings last night helped fuel an impressive debut. "Rises" grossed $30.6 million from midnight shows at 3,825 theaters including over 300 IMAX screens. That doesn't break the $43.5 million midnight record of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2" set last summer, but it's slightly higher than "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" and "Eclipse" which pulled in $30.2 million and $30 million respectively.
Whether this early cume accurately reflects the box office prospects for "Rises" is unclear. In May, "The Avengers" grossed a strong $18.7 million from midnight shows, but still managed to set a 3-day opening weekend record of $207.4 million. "The Avengers" had the benefit of both higher IMAX and 3D screen ticket prices. "Rises" could come close to "The Avengers" take, but has always been unlikely based on the film's longer running time and the difference in average ticket prices.
Look for continuing box office updates all weekend long on HitFix.