(Reuters) - Shares of movie theater chains dropped on Friday after a gunman in Colorado killed 12 people at a midnight premiere of the highly anticipated Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises."
Shares of Cinemark Holdings (CNK.N), owner of the Century 16 movie theater where the shooting occurred in the Denver suburb of Aurora, dropped 3.3 percent to $23.46 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Regal Entertainment Group (RGC.N) shares fell 2.9 percent to $13.54 on Nasdaq.
Cinemark, in a statement, said it was "working closely" with law enforcement authorities in Aurora and was "deeply saddened" by the incident.
Shares of Time Warner Inc (TWX.N), the big media conglomerate that owns the Warner Bros. studio that produced "Dark Knight Rises," dropped 10 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $39.04.
"It's possible you'll see some backlash to theaters from this awful tragedy," said Tony Wible, an analyst with Janney, Montgomery Scott, who follows theater stocks. "Investors were already worried about the box office softness before this happened."
"The Dark Knight Rises" was expected before the shooting to draw some of the biggest box office crowds of the year.
Warner Bros separately on Friday said the film took in $30.6 million at U.S. and Canadian box offices in screenings just after midnight on Friday.
Reporting By Ronald Grover and Lisa Richwine; Editing by Leslie Adler