According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. will be making a "substantial" donation to the victims of the Aurora massacre, which occurred during a midnight premiere of the Batman movie Dark Knight Rises. They will give through the website GivingFirst.org, which will distribute the funds to several charities that support the victims. Warner Bros. isn't disclosing how much exactly they're giving.
Obviously Warner Bros. is not responsible for the shooting -- at least I don't think they are. Dozens of violent action films are released year after year without an incident like this. They don't have to make this donation. But I'm glad they are. Their donation could help people who were hit hardest from the tragedy.
Warner Bros. has tried to act sensitively about the shooting. They canceled a Paris premiere of Dark Knight Rises and decided not to release box office numbers for opening weekend. They also released a statement, saying they "and the filmmakers are deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time." And the studio is even considering delaying the release of their next big film, Gangster Squad.
No amount of money is going to make up for the devastating losses from tragedy. But it could go a long way toward helping the people who are left picking up the pieces. And while the movie isn't responsible for the violent act of one James Holmes, they are caught up in this terrible story. Their condolences to the victims are empty if they don't also contribute to their relief in some way -- and it's a response they can definitely afford!
Most of all, I hope this donation spurs others to donate as well -- not just individuals, but other companies. The theater company, Cinemark, has not yet announced that they're giving a donation. Nudge, nudge.
What do you think of Warner Bros.' plans to donate to the victims of the shooting?
Image via Warner Bros.