Back in July, my wife went to the nearby Davis Theater to see the special midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. That event, and perhaps the movie itself, will be remembered for the mass shooting in Aurora, CO that night more than anything else. Fortunately, everything was fine at the sold-out show my wife attended. When it was over, she called me and I drove over to pick her up (it's only three blocks away, but why take chances in the city at 3 AM?). On the way, I had to wait for hordes of Batfans in the crosswalks on Lincoln Avenue near the theater. Some people, mostly kids, were even in costume as the caped crusader, and it was a festive atmosphere in the middle of a summer night.
Earlier this week my wife bought a ticket for the 12:07 AM premiere Friday of the new James Bond film, Skyfall (12:07 AM = 0:07, get it?). Actually, she didn't buy a ticket; they gave her a free one because she was in her police uniform. I couldn't help wondering whether this freebie was a policy change in light of the Aurora shooting (she didn't ask).
As luck would have it, my wife forgot her ticket at work last night so she had to buy a new one. I dropped her off at the theater around 11:45 PM, and she signaled to me from the box office that she was able to purchase a replacement ticket.
She called around 2:45 AM after the movie and I got in the car to go pick her up. As I drove down Lincoln Avenue, I saw two people walking across the empty parking lot at the Western Avenue L station. When I pulled up in front of the theater, my wife stood there alone.
I asked her how the movie was. "There were only, like, three people in the whole theater!" she exclaimed.
Even allowing for the cooler fall weather and possibly some paranoia following the Aurora shooting, it's clear that when it comes to box office appeal, James Bond is no match for Batman.
I told her I had suspected as much because the streets were so empty. "I guess the theater really needed the revenue from that second ticket you bought, huh?"