(NEW YORK) — Last weekend’s shooting spree at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater appears to be having an effect on Americans’ recreation habits, at least in the short term.
According to a survey of moviegoers, 20 to 25 percent say they’re considering skipping a visit to the multiplex this weekend, telling research firm NRG they’re hesitant to go because of events that took place during the July 20 midnight screening of Warner Bros.’ The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora.
If that many people who would normally go to the movies do make other plans, it would certainly have an impact on the second weekend receipts for The Dark Knight Rises as well as two new movies opening Friday — 20th Century Fox’s R-rated comedy The Watch and Summit Entertainment’s 3D dance movie Step Up Revolution, distributed by Disney, the parent company of ABC News Radio.
The Watch, a sci-fi spoof starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade, ran into problems earlier this year following the shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch captain. Seeking to avoid controversy, 20th Century Fox changed the original title of the movie, Neighborhood Watch, to The Watch.
More problematic for the movie’s producer is that The Watch hasn’t been tracking well and its R-rating also puts limits on who will go to see it.
Step Up Revolution, the fourth in the franchises, is expected to do well with its predominantly female teen audience. However, the movie does contain a scene in which dancers wear gas masks and carry gas canisters to a party, which may call to mind alleged Aurora shooter James Holmes, who police say did the same before he went on a shooting rampage.
Mindful of this, Summit Entertainment said it was leaving the scene intact although it did stop advertising a TV commercial of Step Up Revolution that showed the scene.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Magdala Louissaint, KPVI
Heather Long, CNN
Doug Criss, CNN