A Colorado judge has set an October 14 start date for the trial of the man accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 others at a megaplex in 2012. Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour said today he wants the first group of the 6,000 would-be jurors to report on that date for Phase 1 of jury selection. But attorneys for the accused killer said they will appeal the decision because they want their client to undergo a second psychiatric evaluation, which could stall the proceeding again. In June the court accepted the defendant’s plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, which led to his first psychiatric evaluation. He faces 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other crimes.
Related: Court Rules Fox News Reporter Won’t Have To Name Sources For Aurora Shooting Coverage
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A Colorado judge has accepted a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity for alleged theater shooter James Holmes, the AP reports. Now begins an evaluation of Holmes by state doctors to determine whether was insane at the time of the shootings in Aurora, CO. That process could take months. Holmes is accused of killing 12 moviegoers during a shooting spree last summer at a Cinemark theater midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. He is charged with 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other crimes. Holmes originally had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf, but his lawyers later offered a deal in which he was willing to plead guilty and spend the rest of his life in prison. The Arapahoe County District Attorney rejected the plea deal in April and said he would seek the death penalty in the case. The insanity plea is widely seen as Holmes’ best chance of avoiding execution given the extent of evidence against him.
Some family members of victims of the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting are outraged over an invitation they received from Cinemark to attend “a special evening of remembrance” and a movie in the theater where their loved ones were killed. The letter, published today in the Denver Post, is signed by eight relatives of victims who say they are particularly upset that the invitation was sent during the holidays. A portion of the letter follows below:
To the Management of Cinemark USA, Inc.:
During the holiday we didn’t think anyone or anything could make our grief worse but you, Cinemark, have managed to do just that by sending us an invitation two days after Christmas inviting us to attend the re-opening of your theater in Aurora where our loved ones were massacred.Thanks for making what is a very difficult holiday season that much more difficult. Timing is everything and yours is awful.
You (Cinemark) has shown, and continues to show, ZERO compassion to the families of the victims whose loved ones were killed in their theater. You, Cinemark, have never once reached out to the families to offer condolences.
This disgusting offer that you’d “like to invite you and a guest to a special evening of remembrance on Thursday, January 17 at 5 PM” followed by the showing of a movie and then telling us to be sure “to reserve our tickets” is wholly offensive to the memory of our loved ones.
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Three of the audience members at a July 20 midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises today sued the theater owner. A pair of lawsuits (read them here) claim that Cinemark failed to provide adequate security at its Century 16 location in Aurora, Colorado for the opening night of The Dark Knight Rises. “The gunman made one or more trips from his car through the open exterior door of Auditorium 9, bringing his arsenal and ammunition through that open door. Throughout that time, no employee or security personnel contacted him, deterred him, monitored him or stopped him from that re-entry,” the suit filed by Denise Traynom and Brandon Axelrod says. Joshua Nowlan, who along with Axelrod received gunshot wounds, also filed a similar suit today. The shooting by James Eagen Holmes killed 12 people and left 58 wounded. “There was no alarm activated during the many minutes while the gunman was stockpiling his arsenal, and inside the theater shooting people,” one of the lawsuits states. “There was no action taken by theater employees to safely evacuate the many people left in Auditorium 9,” it further claims. Asking for a jury trial, the suits say that in each case the damages exceed $75,000. Plaintiffs are represented by Deirdre Ostrowski, Michael Keating, William Keating and Christian Habas of Denver firm Keating Wagner Polidori Free.
Cinemark Won’t Address Aurora Questions And Its Fallout
Christian Bale Visits Aurora Theater Shooting Victims
The exhibition chain has been receiving crisis management advice from Abernathy MacGregor Group, and continues to stick by its strategy of refusing to publicly discuss last month’s shootings at a Cinemark-owned theater in Aurora or the fallout from it. In a conference call with analysts this morning, CEO Tim Warner thanked officials and ordinary citizens who helped during and after the shootings — but said he wouldn’t discuss it further “out of respect to the victims and their families.” The company framed the issue the same way when it told analysts on the call to “please refrain from asking questions” about the matter. They followed instructions and didn’t inquire about one of the most important issues involving Cinemark and the exhibition industry. Separately, The Denver Post reported this morning that the chain declined to say whether there was an alarm that was disabled on the rear door that the accused shooter, James Holmes, used to enter the theater.
The entertainment giant’s CEO kicked off his quarterly earnings call with analysts by paying homage to the shooting victims in Aurora at a showing of Warner Bros’ The Dark Knight Rises. He voiced ”our profound sadness about the terrible events” and added: ”Our deepest sympathies go out to the victims of this appalling crime, their families and their loved ones.”
Showtime was one of the networks that pulled some programs off its schedule in the wake of the Colorado shootings July 20. The pay cable network is known for violent shows, and network president David Nevins was asked today at TCA about what impact the tragedy would have on programming decisions. “It’s a very hard question,” he said. “The weekend that happened we did replace some movie titles. Dexter is a psychological show, so it’s very hard to see a direct causal connection, but we always weigh this stuff all the time with our shows, like Dexter or Homeland, even Borgias. It’s a big part of (new drama) Ray Donovan.”
(Photo: Getty Images)
The Oscar-winning composer says on his Facebook page that that he recorded the 8:26 minute elegiacal tone poem, titled Aurora, ”as a heartfelt tribute to the victims and their families.” He’s offering it on Apple’s iTunes store for $1.29, and on Moontoast for as little as 10 cents. All of the proceeds will go to Aurora Victim Relief organizations, Zimmer says. He won his Oscar for writing the score to Disney’s The Lion King. Zimmer’s other film work includes Gladiator, The Dark Knight, Inception, Black Hawk Down, The Simpsons Movie, and several Pirates Of The Caribbean movies.
The company’s “thoughts and prayers” are with the victims of the Aurora shooting, CEO Richard Gelfond told analysts this morning. But while the tragedy could make domestic IMAX attendance for The Dark Knight Rises “a little flatter than we thought,” it shouldn’t prevent the film from being a solid success — especially abroad. The company reports that its theaters showing the Warner Bros film are at capacity “virtually everywhere.” The Batman film is generating $57,000 per screen domestically — and $75,000 overseas. That has amounted to as much as $4M a day during the week. The film includes more than 70 minutes of footage shot with IMAX cameras. “We believe that the success of this film will drive longer term benefits to our business like continued theater signings momentum and interest in IMAX differentiation among filmmakers,” Gelfond says. IMAX has the right to show Dark Knight for eight weeks, but has some flexibility to keep it longer — or swap it out if the sales don’t hold up. The company said today that it plans to show Sony’s Total Recall: The Imax Experience and Universal’s The Bourne Legacy: The IMAX Experience in some international markets beginning in August. IMAX shares are down about 3.8% in early trading following the release of its Q2 earnings.
Related: ‘Dark Knight Rises’ $161.8M For All-Time 2D Opening Weekend; $76.1M Friday 3rd All-Time Domestic Debut Day & Best 2D Single … Read More »
Warner Bros confirmed this evening it has moved Gangster Squad from September 7 to January 11, 2013. The delay will allow filmmakers to excise a shootout scene that takes place in a movie theater, due to the Aurora, Colorado tragedy at a midnight Thursday screening of The Dark Knight Rises. An alternate murder spree scene will be shot that does not take place in a movie theater. The six months of breathing room should help return the focus to the L.A. mob storyline.
UPDATE: Warner Bros Pulls Trailer Of Gangster Shooting Up Movie Theater
Fox’s Alien Comedy Retitled ‘The Watch’ After Florida Shooting
Related: Warner Bros Makes Donation To Victims Of Colorado Movie Theater Shooting
Here’s the announcement in a letter today from National Association of Theatre Owners chief John Fithian seeking contributions from the group’s members:
Dear Exhibition Colleagues,
The tragic events that occurred in Aurora, Colorado have been devastating to the victims, their familiesand loved ones, the community, the state and the nation.
As we watch the aftermath unfold and try to make sense of this terrible crime, you should be encouraged by the leadership and dedication of the community of Aurora as they comfort and assist their families and neighbors. The courage of the victims, their families and loved ones, the theater employees involved, the first responders and hospital staff members has steeled the resolve of the community and its leaders to recover from this tragedy and to emerge even stronger than before.
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ABC News is standing by its report of a telephone interview between the mother of Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes and ABC News producer Matthew Mosk in the hours after the deadly movie theater shooting Friday in Colorado. Holmes family attorney, Lisa Damiani, read a statement today at a news conference in San Diego on behalf of Arlene Holmes to clarify her remarks to Mosk, which she says were mischaracterized by ABC News. Holmes said she was referring to herself, not her son, when she told Mosk “You have the right person” when Mosk told her that a man, he believed was her son, had been arrested in the shooting. ABC News says Damiani contacted the network shortly before the news conference to determine if there was an audio recording of the conversation between Mosk and her client. After learning there was no recording, ABC News says Damiani read Arlene Holmes’ statement at the news conference.
Related: ABC News Apologizes For Erroneously Linking Suspected Shooter To Tea Party
Christian Bale, star of The Dark Knight Rises and the previous two movies in the trilogy, issued this statement today about the tragic shooting at a theater in Aurora, Colorado:
Words cannot express the horror that I feel. I cannot begin to truly understand the pain and grief of the victims and their loved ones, but my heart goes out to them.
Related: Christopher Nolan Speaks About The Tragedy
SATURDAY, 2ND UPDATE: Ann Curry did not co-host, according to some people who watched the Today show this morning, even though NBC said she would. But, yes, she is reporting from Aurora and contributed to a number of stories, following her Dateline anchoring last night..
FRIDAY PM UPDATE: Less than a month after she departed NBC’s daily morning show, Ann Curry will co-host the Today show with her replacement Savannah Guthrie. Both are traveling to Aurora to report on the shooting at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. They will co-anchor Saturday and Sunday. Read More »
The shooting in Aurora, Colorado during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises has caused some broadcasters to drop some programming with violent content this weekend. “With a sensitivity to current events, Showtime has replaced several movies in their schedule for the weekend,” a Showtime spokesperson said. Showtime declined to give specifics about what would be replaced. However, the network does have films like Nicholas Cage’s extremely violent Drive Angry, the Paul McCartney documentary The Love We Make about 9/11, the terrorism drama Five Fingers, the vampiric Bitten, Kenneth Branagh’s Dead Again, the 2003 The Italian Job remake, the 2008 Brian Cox violent drama Red and Ralph Fiennes’ The Constant Gardener, where a man investigates the death of his wife, on the schedule to play this weekend.
Related: Warner Bros Won’t Report Box Office For ‘Dark Knight Rises’ All Weekend
NBCUniversal is pulling an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit tonight on USA Network. It’s also pulling an episode of The Unit, dealing with a hostage taking and shooting, set to run Sunday on CLOO. TNT actually has 2008’s The Dark Knight, the previous Batman movie, on its schedule both tonight and Saturday. A network spokesperson told Deadline that they presently plan to air the movie as originally scheduled. (UPDATE: FX also plans to air the first movie in the trilogy, 2005′s Batman … Read More »
The pulling of The Dark Knight Rises TV spots after the shooting in Aurora, Colo, came from the networks first — not Warner Bros. “The networks decided the ads should be pulled this morning due to sensitivity concerns during their news coverage and WB agreed after the fact,” a studio insider says. All the networks turned over their Friday morning shows to reports of the shooting at the midnight screening of the third installment in Christopher Nolan’s Batman saga. “NBC pulled the ads this morning and then later heard from Warners’ agency not to run them,” a source close to the network told Deadline. It was deemed inappropriate, the source added, to be covering the tragedy and showing ads and scenes from the Batman film in the same broadcast.
Related: Warner Bros & Filmmakers “Deeply Saddened” By Colorado Shooting During ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Screening; No French Premiere
ABC, NBC and CBS plan to have their newsmagazine shows broadcasting from Aurora on Friday evening. CBS declined comment on the pulling of Dark Knight Rises ads on its network, but no TV spots will be running there this weekend. ABC had no information about the ads being pulled or not. In at least one instance, a network was contacted by Warner Bros: A Fox executive said the Dark Knight Rises ads were pulled in conjunction with a request from the studio.
The ads, which … Read More »
President Obama authorized the action in a proclamation this afternoon. He calls it “a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on July 20, 2012, in Aurora, Colorado.” The order applies to U.S. flags flown on government and public grounds and runs until sunset July 25.
(White House photo: Getty Images)
President Obama: Government Will “Take Every Step Possible” To Ensure Safety
President Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney — as well as their leading Super PAC supporters — have temporarily yanked their ads in the state, according to multiple press reports. Nobody’s saying how long the black out will last. Colorado is considered a battleground state, so cash has been pouring in to influence voters. Bill Burton of Priorities USA Action, a Super PAC that supports Obama, says that “Our prayers are with the victims of this horrible tragedy.” And Steven Law of American Crossroads, a similar organization that favors Romney, says: “We pause to honor and pray for those whose lives have been tragically cut short, as well as those who must bear this terrible loss.”
President Obama And Mitt Romney Respond To Theater Shooting
ABC News Apologizes For Erroneously Linking Suspected Shooter To Tea Party
The exhibition chains are weighing in with their response to the Colorado theater shooting.
REFRESH FOR LATEST…
We are shocked and saddened by last night’s tragedy in Aurora, Colorado and extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of those affected. The safety and security of our guests remains our top priority, and while we believe this was an isolated incident, we have security measures in place for our upcoming shows.
Cineplex Entertainment will donate a portion of the proceeds from tonight’s box office to the Red Cross RespectED: Violence and Abuse Prevention program. This program provides violence and abuse prevention education in schools and communities across Canada.
Everyone at Landmark is stunned and saddened at this horrible tragedy in Aurora. Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and friends as well as everyone who was at the theatre. Guest safety which has always been of utmost importance will continue to be a major priority for us and all theatre operators. What was one of the world’s most anticipated nights of movie-going has now been affected in the worst imaginable way. Although the media coverage naturally is focused on the shooter, it is the innocent victims and their families who we mourn for today.
We are profoundly saddened by the tragedy that occurred
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