James Holmes was the psychopath who killed 12 people in Aurora, Colorado, during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. He entered the theater wearing body armor and carrying a rifle, then opened fire.
We'd love to find a way to phrase this next part to really emphasize how stupid the decision was, but try as we might, we can't make it sound any dumber than the plain old unembellished description: One year after a mass shooting by a disturbed individual wearing body armor and carrying a rifle at the premiere of a blockbuster superhero film, Capital 8 hired an actor to walk into their own theater during the premiere of a blockbuster superhero film ... wearing body armor and carrying a (fake) rifle.
Joe Amon / Denver Post
"It's OK, these are blanks! You can stop soiling yourselves now."
As soon as Mysterious Armed Assailant #1 clocked in for work, intrepid theatergoers called the real police, screwing up the whole planned showdown. When the actual cops showed up, they informed the owners that they were lucky that no off-duty officers were present in the audience, otherwise their fun little stunt would have gotten the actor shot in the dang face. It takes a lot of people to make an idea this bad happen: Of course the theater owners should have known better, their employees should have spoken up, and really anybody within earshot should have smacked them upside the head with the Bad Idea Hammer. But actors, maybe you should also consider whether "guy in small-town PR stunt" is a role worth dying for. We know the Jefferson City theater scene is struggling right now, but we hear there's a pretty bitchin' version of The Wiz casting right now, and there's only like a 4 percent chance you'll get shot in the face for playing the Tin Man.
Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Getty
Eh, why not make it an even 10 percent?