Reactions by exhibitors to this morning’s tragic shootings at a Dark Knight Rises screening in Colorado have varied in major European territories including the UK and France. Odeon, the largest chain in the UK and Ireland, said it would add “further operational procedures” to ensure safety in the aftermath of the events. The Dark Knight Rises rolls out today in 7 European territories including the UK, Ireland and Spain, where Odeon also operates. Regarding increased security measures, the company said: “Odeon take the safety and enjoyment of their guests very seriously and in light of the recent incident that took place in the States at a screening yesterday evening, Odeon will be continuing their vigilant safety measures and further operational procedures will be introduced to ensure a safe and quality service.” At London’s BFI IMAX theater, Dark Knight Rises screenings were sold out ahead of time to the tune of £1M+. Two screenings that were held early this morning, ie before news of the shootings had spread, were fully-attended. The BFI tells me that there was no noticeable effect on attendance at the one screening that’s happened since. As for safety measures, a spokesperson says, “As an essential London venue, we are constantly reviewing security.”
In France, where tonight’s red carpet premiere and all press interviews were cancelled, the film is released next Wednesday, July 25. For the moment, I understand there are no plans by exhibitors to increase security. An industry source tells me, “This is much more about American society and gun violence. In France, we are much more regulated.” The last substantial attack inside a French movie theater occurred in 1988 at a screening of Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation Of Christ when a group of Christian fundamentalists launched Molotov cocktails inside a Paris cinema injuring more than a dozen people. I’m told that for the moment there has been no call from the authorities, or from French exhibitors, to ramp up security next week.