Last week The Dark Knight Rises scored the third biggest opening weekend ever, collecting $160 million at the box office. After the horrible events of last Thursday night unfolded, many people believed the public would avoid The Dark Knight Rises and movie theaters all together. Can you blame them with the barrage of news coverage? That wasn’t the case. Many fans still went out and enjoyed the movie, despite the tragic circumstances. But, I do think that number would have been larger than $160 million if  the shooting wouldn’t have occurred.

This week Nolan and company will enter their second week at the box office with competition from another movie that had to deal with a tragic event of its own. The Watch starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill was forced to change the name of the film from Neighborhood Watch to The Watch after the shooting of Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman. The Watch is a mash-up of raunchy comedy and Sci-Fi horror. The only buzz created for the film was negative and The Watch carries an R rating which will keep some of the under 18 crowd away – that eats up the Vince Vaughn guy humor. In the end I think The Watch will make just under $30 million at the box office.

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The champ at the box office will once again be The Dark Knight Rises and I expect a big second week out of the Batman. Word of mouth has been great for the film despite some negative reviews from critics which some fans took way too far – getting the website Rotten Tomatoes to disable their comments over fan boy threats. You have to love the internet tough guy who probably hasn’t thrown a punch in his life making threats on a computer. Get a life people! There far worse things to get upset about than a bad review of your favorite movie franchise.

The further we get away from the awful tragedy of Aurora, the less people will worry about theater safety. We as humans, tend to forget about awful tragedies that happen and we move on to something else.  It’s in our nature to become numb to events like this no matter how despicable one person’s actions may be. I predict The Dark Knight Rises to generate $86 million dollars at the box office this weekend and there’s nothing The Watch or Step Up Revolution can do about it.

On a side note, I would like to give major props to Christian Bale for visiting the victims of the shooting in Aurora. Those audience members that were injured were true movie fans.  The average movie fan doesn’t make a point to take in a midnight screening of an anticipated new release. Only the true fans stay up late so they can be the first to enjoy a new film on opening night. So I can imagine that Christian Bale showing up to say hello to the injured was one of the best moments of their lives, even under the circumstances. I wish none of this would have happened but it did, and the fact Bale went on his own to talk with the victims is a truly kind gesture. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @CW44CouchPotato and become a fan on Facebook.

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1.      The Dark Knight Rises – $86 Million

2.     The Watch – $29 million

3.     Step Up Revolution – $17 million

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