Warner Bros. Holds 'Dark Knight Rises' Box Office Numbers 'Out of Respect'

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"Only five movies in history at this point have done a $150 million or more opening weekend," he noted.

"The Dark Knight," the second movie in Nolan's "Batman" trilogy, made $158 million during its 2008 opening weekend.

Yahoo movies contributing editor Thelma Adams said the tragedy will take a bite out of the weekend gross.

"You have to preface it by saying it's only money," she said, "and we're dealing with lives that have been lost. That said, there will be some domestic underperformance. It is going to hurt."

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Some theaters are offering to refund those who bought tickets early. AMC released a statement today saying it will exchange and refund tickets per the chain's existing policy. It also banned moviegoers in "costumes that make other guests feel uncomfortable" and said it "will not permit face-covering masks or fake weapons inside our buildings."

Suspected shooter James Holmes had painted his hair red and told cops, "I am the Joker," when apprehended.

Yahoo's Adams said the massacre would not likely affect the movie's global gross. The last Batman film, 2008's "The Dark Knight," made almost as much internationally, $469 million, as it did in the United States, $533 million.

"Maybe opening weekend will be a little bit less, but then the drop will not be as great," Adams said.

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Many cities are stepping up security at theaters in light of the tragedy. New York City police Commissioner Ray Kelly released a statement this morning, saying, "As a precaution against copycats and to raise the comfort levels among movie patrons in the wake of the horrendous shooting in Colorado, the New York City Police Department is providing coverage at theaters where the 'The Dark Knight Rises' is playing in the five boroughs."

Police in Washington, D.C., have been told to provide "special attention" to movie theaters.

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