The cumulative effect of the lingering psychological harm caused by the Colorado shooting as well as the Olympic coverage only helped to make box office numbers really suffer this past weekend where even comedies had a hard time managing decent sized audiences. The new debut comedy by Ben Stiller, THE WATCH only managed an estimated $13 million in box office receipts. Unfortunately this film might have also been hurt by the ongoing story of arrested neighborhood watch person George Zimmerman, where perhaps audiences just didn’t find this a funny topic at this time. The film only managed third place. And THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, fell much worse than expected by over 60% from last week’s numbers to just $64 million. Even the new ICE AGE:CONTINENTAL DRIFT fell significantly to only around $13.3 million in receipts, where even family fare like this couldn’t bring in decent ticket sales.
TED, the outrageous, but critically acclaimed comedy fell to $7.3 million, where audiences just didn’t seem to be in a laughing mood.
Unfortunately, James Holmes appears to have done significant damage to the movie industry, perhaps costing Hollywood as much as a billion dollars or more if a continued box office drought results from his one man reign of terror and mayhem. One man not only ruined many lives, but he may have done significant short term damage to the movie industry as well. A sort of one man 9/11 attack on Hollywood, doing significant damage to Hollywood that not even the most extreme social conservative that hates everything that Hollywood represents could ever achieve. It may take weeks or months for Hollywood to survive this damage and for Hollywood to come back, but by then many movie producers and companies could suffer terrible financial losses. .