Theater Stocks Fall in Wake of Dark Night Shooting

July 25, 2012 8:09 AM EDT
Movie theater stocks have fallen since last week's shooting at a screening of The Dark Night Rises, which took the lives of 12 and injured dozens. Cinemark Holding (NYSE: CNK), the owner of the theater where the murders took place, is lower by 6.2 percent since Friday. Regal Entertainment (NYSE: RGC), Carmike Cinemas (Nasdaq: CKEC), and Imax Corp. (NYSE: IMAX) have all traded lower since the murders.

Investors fear the tragedy will lead to higher security costs at theaters, and may even lead to metal detectors and other costly measures. More importantly, there is a nagging fear among investors that movie goers will simply stay home.

Eric Handler, an analyst at MKM Partners, thinks talk of rising expenses for security at theaters is misguided.

"I don't think it will go as far as X-ray machines at theaters," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "You want to create a safe environment, and I think you do that by adding more security people to your staff. Metal detectors, which are not inexpensive, would be taking it too far and could make people skittish."

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