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Canadian moviegoers appear undeterred by tragedy in Aurora

A poster for the Warner Bros. film The Dark Knight Rises is displayed at Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, California, July 20, 2012.

FRED PROUSER/REUTERS

The shooting rampage at a Batman premiere in Colorado doesn't seem to have made Canadian moviegoers jittery about catching a movie this weekend, though some theatre chains have taken added precautions.

"You just hear a bang, you duck. This kind of stuff can happen anywhere in the world," said Byron Mann, who was planning to see The Dark Knight Rises on Saturday night.

"The important thing is to prevent it from happening more. We just need to have stricter gun controls."

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Moviegoers had eagerly anticipated the opening night of The Dark Knight Rises before the shooting that broke out at a late-night premiere at an Aurora, Colo. theatre on Thursday, leaving 12 dead and 58 wounded.

The film was expected to churn out high earnings over its first weekend in theatres, but revenue reports have been delayed until Monday.

Sony, Fox, Disney, Universal and Lionsgate said Saturday that they are joining "Dark Knight Rises" distributor Warner Bros. in withholding their box-office numbers for the weekend out of respect for the victims and their families.

But workers at a theatre in downtown Toronto said there was a packed house Friday night and that The Dark Knight Rises was sold out.

Many moviegoers in Toronto said they see the Colorado theatre shooting as a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"It seems like a pretty isolated event," said Gavin Whelehan, who was planning to see Dark Knight Rises Saturday afternoon. "I actually did try to come yesterday (Friday) but it was sold out, so I'm back."

Whelehan was one of the lucky ones who was able to get a ticket for the showtime he wanted.

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"In all probability it's not going to repeat itself," said Jerome Poonting, who settled for another movie when he learned Batman was sold out. "I feel pretty safe and comfortable coming to a movie theatre, at least in Canada."

Others were more concerned about the shootings taking place in public places.

"There's less and less safe places to go just as a civilian," said Madeleine Adam. "I think it's quite outrageous that just innocent people can't even go and enjoy themselves at a movie theatre."

Officers in three downtown Toronto divisions said that there has been no increased police presence at local theatres today.

But the theatres themselves tightened security, with one chain that has some outlets in Canada banning movie-goers from wearing superhero costumes as they watch the caped crusader.

"We will not allow any guests into our theatres in costumes that make other guests feel uncomfortable and we will not permit face-covering masks or fake weapons inside our buildings," AMC Theatres spokesman Ryan Noonan said in an email.

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A spokesperson for Cineplex Entertainment says while the company believes the shooting rampage in Colorado was an isolated incident, it has put security measures in place for upcoming shows.

With files from the Associated Press.

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