While I understand the need for people to come together in the aftermath of tragedies like the Aurora shooting with candlelight vigils, impromptu memorials, and mass community services, I found this gesture by the major studios to ring a little hollow:
Following reports that Warner Brothers would not be releasing box office reports as an expression of respect for the victims of the Aurora, Colorado shooting, the majority of other major film studios have opted not to release their own box office numbers for the weekend either. None of the studios will be reporting on Saturday, with most also agreeing to withhold numbers through Sunday as well. This unspoken deal among the studios does indicate an act of solidarity and reverence toward the tragedy that befell the Colorado theater on Thursday night during the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises.
Hollywood.com Box Office Analyst Paul Dergarabedian notes this act as nearly unprecedented. The only similar occurrence that he can recall surrounded the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, which prompted studios to temporarily withhold their box office information as well. Paul notes the significance of the studios’ concordance, proudly lauding the companies: “They may be rivals, but not when it comes to something like this.”
I’m not a Hollywood basher, but for an industry that generates their greatest profits with slam bang exploding-robot body-count shoot’em ups, I think denying Nikki Finke the weekend numbers for a day as a gesture of solidarity falls somewhere along the lines of dropping a penny in a beggars cup and then patting yourself on the back for being so magnanimous.