Box Office Guru Wrapup: Dark Knight Leads Sluggish Frame


The super hero sequel The Dark Knight Rises once again led the North American box office, however moviegoer excitement was sucked out of the marketplace as ticket sales slumped to the second lowest showing of this whole summer season. With many consumers still wary of heading to the local multiplex after last week's shooting tragedy, no compelling new releases hitting the screens, and the start of the London Olympics, momentum slowed down to a crawl with the Top 20 sliding down to only $133M - a low amount for July which is usually one of the busiest months of the year.

Following its massive opening weekend - the best ever for a 2D-only movie - The Dark Knight Rises fell an understandable 60% to an estimated $64.1M. It was larger than the 53% fall that its predecessor suffered four years ago in July 2008 but threequels often fade faster thanks to more upfront business. Warner Bros. did, however, hope that those that skipped seeing the film last weekend because of the Colorado shooting might help solidify the picture over this frame. But the decline was about what would be expected for the third chapter of a mega-franchise. Core comic book and action fans have been coming out, but some of the broader audience not as attached to the franchise are feeling less excitement now and have dropped out.

Still, Rises has amassed a mammoth $289.1M in only ten days making for the third best ten-day start of any film in history after just The Avengers ($373.1M) and The Dark Knight ($313.8M). TDKR has even landed in the list of all-time domestic blockbusters at number 50. TV ratings were huge for Friday night's opening ceremonies of the Olympics and Rises, like all films, took a hit on that day. But sales bounced back well on Saturday for the broader marketplace.

Studios usually see the Summer Games as formidable competition especially if the host city is not halfway around the world allowing for more live coverage. In 1996 when the U.S. hosted the Games in Atlanta, Hollywood took the bold move of starting the summer movie season earlier to get an extra week of playtime. Warner Bros. unleashed the disaster hit Twister on May 10 and went on to collect $241.9M beating out the $181M of what was supposed to be the summer kickoff film Mission: Impossible. At its current trajectory, The Dark Knight Rises could end its domestic run in the $440-450M range which would still be an impressive number seven all-time.

Overseas, TDKR launched in 40 new territories against the Olympics and grossed an estimated $122.1M this weekend from 57 total markets. That brought the international cume to $248.2M and the global tally to a stunning $537.3M after just the second weekend. Like the Joker film before it, the Bane flick should still be able to break the $1 billion mark in global box office thanks to growth from overseas markets.

Following a hard sophomore slide, Ice Age: Continental Drift settled in for a commendable 35% dip in its third weekend and held onto second place with an estimated $13.3M raising the 17-day sum to $114.8M. It was the smallest third-weekend gross for any film in the animated franchise as the others each did $17-20M despite lower ticket prices. The Fox fourquel is on course to reach the neighborhood of $150M from the domestic market - also the lowest in the series. Overseas has been a different story where the franchise continues to grow stronger. Drift pulled in an estimated $49.4M internationally helped by big Asian debuts in China, Korea, and India boosting the offshore tally to a staggering $514.1M and the worldwide haul to $628.9M with a whopping 82% coming from outside of North America. As with the last chapter, the $800M global mark should be broken.

Opening to poor results in third place was the sci-fi buddy comedy The Watch which managed to take in an estimated $13M from 3,168 theaters for a dull $4,104 average. Starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill, the R-rated pic about a group of suburban men who start a neighborhood watch only to discover that aliens have invaded their town came in well below many of the debuts that the individual stars have seen in past projects. Critics panned the Fox release and links in the news media between the film and the neighborhood watch killing of Trayvon Martin earlier this year didn't help.

Stiller is coming off of the so-so debut of the all-star comedy Tower Heist from last November as well as 2010's franchise flick Little Fockers which was the lowest-grossing in that series. Vaughn's The Dilemma from last year also opened poorly following a string of studio hits. Hill is hot this year thanks to his Oscar nod and spring hit 21 Jump Street, but the starpower from the cast failed to drive in business this time. Males made up the primary audience for Watch accounting for 60% of the crowd while 59% were 25 and older. With the final Batman pic also playing to adult men, competition was fierce and the start of the Olympics also provided a distraction for sports fans. Moviegoers were not impressed with what they got as the CinemaScore grade was only a C+ signaling a lousy road ahead.

It's been a tough summer for R-rated comedies with The Watch following the dismal debut of Adam Sandler's That's My Boy and Sacha Baron Cohen's The Dictator not faring too well either. Each carried a high price tag for a comedy and The Watch is estimated to have cost nearly $70M to produce. This has been in stark contrast to last summer when The Hangover 2, Bridesmaids, Horrible Bosses, and Bad Teacher all broke the $100M mark keeping adult audiences laughing all season. Seth MacFarlane's Ted has been the only standout hit this summer and Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis hope to score a hit in two weeks with their political comedy The Campaign.

Generating the smallest opening of the four-picture franchise, the 3D dance drama Step Up Revolution debuted in fourth with an estimated $11.8M from 2,567 locations for a mild $4,597 average. The PG-13 pic which moves the dancing-will-save-my-life concept to Miami played young and female like its predecessors with studio research showing that the crowd was 64% female, and 71% under 25. The CinemaScore was a moderate B+. Disney handled the first three Step Up films domestically while Summit released them overseas where substantial growth has been seen with recent installments. Summit, now part of Lionsgate, is handling the new chapter worldwide. Revolution bowed 25% below the $15.8M opening of the last film Step Up 3D from August 2010 and 43% behind the $20.7M of the first chapter which starred Channing Tatum. Reviews were mostly negative.

The hit comedy Ted still ranked in the top five in its fifth weekend with an estimated $7.4M, off just 26%. The year's top-grossing comedy has collected $193.6M for Universal to date. Sony's super hero reboot The Amazing Spider-Man followed with an estimated $6.8M, down 38%, for a $242.1M cume. The worldwide tally now stands at $654.8M.

Brave, 2012's highest-grossing toon domestically, declined by just 30% to an estimated $4.2M boosting the total to $217.3M from North America and $309.3M worldwide for Disney. Channing Tatum's latest hit Magic Mike fell 40% to an estimated $2.6M and has banked $107.6M thus far. Tatum has been on fire this year and has anchored three different $100M+ grossers over a six-month period. None were sequels or animated films and all had reasonable budgets making him a moneymaking machine.

Rounding out the top ten were mature-skewing films from notable filmmakers. Oliver Stone's Savages dropped 47% to an estimated $1.8M while Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom dipped only 24% to an estimated $1.4M. Totals stand at $43.9M for Universal and $38.4M for its subsidiary Focus.

It was an active weekend in the specialty marketplace. The indie comedy Ruby Sparks opened well with an estimated $152,000 from 13 sites for a solid $11,683 average. The latest film from the directors of the Oscar-winning Little Miss Sunshine collected $192,000 since its Wednesday debut and expands Friday into 20 more markets. Reviews were positive.

Proving again that NC-17 films can book theaters, buy ads in mainstream media, and connect with paying audiences, Matthew McConaughey's new hit man drama Killer Joe bowed to an estimated $38,000 from just three locations averaging $12,621 for LD Entertainment. Sony Classics generated a $9,511 average from three playdates for its new rock documentary Searching for Sugar Man which grossed an estimated $29,000 this weekend.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $126.4M which was down 25% from last year when Cowboys & Aliens opened at number one with $36.4M; and down 2% from 2010 when Inception debuted on top with $27.5M.

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Comments

Isaac

Isaac H

I really do wonder how much the Aurora shooting impacted TDKR's overall box-office performance. I never expected it to reach the heights of The Avengers, but I'm still curious if it took a big hit thanks to that tragic incident. The sad part is, we'll never know.

Jul 29 - 04:46 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

I don't think there's any chance DKR could have ever matched DK. It doesn't have the insane energy of Heath's Joker, it's more somber, muted and methodical. It's still a good movie, but it definitely doesn't leave the same impression as its predecessors

Jul 29 - 05:16 PM

Isaac

Isaac H

I agree; like it or not, the reason TDK did such huge numbers at the box office compared to Batman Begins was largely the hype surrounding Heath Ledger's Joker performance, as well as his death. Of course the rave reviews helped, but there's no getting around the facts. It's for this reason that I never expected TDKR to match TDK commercially, despite it being a fantastic film in its own right.

Jul 29 - 05:42 PM

Ryan N.

Ryan Nolan

It sounds as if it will match TDK commercially world wide, just not domestically. I don't think TDKR is quite as good as TDK so the threequel making slightly less in North America is only fair.

Jul 30 - 10:22 AM

Saim Cheeda

Saim Cheeda

Thank you! I loved Batman Begins but i have maintained for the past 4 years that it was heath ledgers performance which has made the Batman series famous. Considering BB made 372M worldwide and TDK passing the 1B mark. TDKR has picked up the momentum from its predecessor but without ledger it was expected to gross lower than DK although it is a very good film!

Jul 30 - 01:38 PM

Vincent Fissore

Vincent Fissore

It may have altered some movie plans for some people (the more security-crazed people, for sure, and surely some sensible ones). However, the Olympics opening has possibly played a part in the drop (although DK did have the same challenge back in '08, and did not suffer as much from it). In the end, you may be right: we will never know.

Jul 29 - 05:25 PM

TheCriticAlex

Stanley Beans

That's true although the Summer Olympics in 2008 didn't start until August 8th. The Dark Knight's fourth consecutive week it was number 1. So that movie had more time unlike TDKR in which the Olympics started in it's second week. I really don't think TDKR will be number 1 for four weeks though. Especially when the Olympics is playing for like 2 weeks.

Jul 29 - 05:57 PM

Vincent Fissore

Vincent Fissore

Ah! I completely forgot the fact that the Beijing Olympics started much later than those in London... Thanks for the reminder.

Jul 29 - 06:50 PM

Isaac

Isaac H

Sad, but probably true, especially with Total Recall opening next weekend and The Bourne Legacy opening August 10.

Jul 29 - 07:11 PM

Onion Rovirosa

Onion Rovirosa

At least 50 millions from the opening weekend due to the tragedy and another 10 millions lost this weekend due to the Olympics.
Stil, i believe it will have not problem reaching 500 millions again. There is 0 competition and the movie was amazing.

Jul 29 - 06:06 PM

Isaac

Isaac H

I have a hard time believing those numbers. I doubt TDKR could have beaten The Avengers' $207M opening weekend, even with the ideal conditions. I would think it lost $10-15M tops from both events combined.

Jul 29 - 07:10 PM

Nick Peters

Nick Peters

I dont completely agree as I was going to see it the opening weekend and waited until this weekend to go see it because of the events that unfolded.

Jul 29 - 08:17 PM

Isaac

Isaac H

I recognize your decision, but I think you're in the vast minority. While it's undoubtable that the shooting affected TDKR's gross, I can't imagine it deterred much of its (almost entirely) hardcore audience from seeing it opening weekend. Still, as I stated above, you may be right. We'll never know for sure.

Jul 29 - 08:32 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Avengers made more because:

A) The shootings affected its gross (to what extend, no way to tell.

B) Avengers had 3D showings (Here, that means 12.50 a ticket vs 7.50 a ticket. Other places are much more expensive, I'm sure).

C) Avengers is light and airy, and very much like a comic book whilst Batman is bleak and gritty ala a graphic novel. I'm sure there were many more young kids being brought to Avengers, and you know they wanted to see it in 3D. Avengers also may have had a broader appeal to female audience members.

Bottom line is, thus far the two best movies this year were both Superhero films. Until the Hobbit, that is.

Jul 29 - 09:10 PM

Isaac

Isaac H

@Val You nailed it there. It was a combination of all those elements, but it's simply shortsighted to say that the shooting stopped TDKR from dethroning The Avengers. It's a shame its gross was affected by the tragedy, but that doesn't mean we need to discredit The Avengers. They're both spectacular films in their own unique ways.

Jul 29 - 09:35 PM

Onion Rovirosa

Onion Rovirosa

? From the experts: http://boxofficemojo.com/news/?id=3491&p=.htm
? Plus remember the movie had a much higher midnight grosses than avengers, in fact it was tracking much higher than what originally was anticipated. The Colorado Shooting had a huge impact.
? I will admit it, if i was a parent, even i know is unrational i would have ask my kids to wait at least one week to see the movie. People were scared and with a perfect good reason....copycats were a high possibility and no manny adults were willing to take the risk for a "movie".

Jul 29 - 11:36 PM

Isaac

Isaac H

The reason its midnight gross was so high was, in my mind, mostly thanks to the fact that it was the final installment in a trilogy, and therefore had a much more upfront audience. To put it in perspective, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 currently holds the record for largest midnight showing ever at $42M, but its overall domestic gross, totaling at about $370M, is dwarfed by The Avengers total domestic tally of $610M, even though The Avengers only did $19M or so at midnight showings. In other words, a larger midnight showing means absolutely nothing in the scheme of things. In fact, often films with larger midnight showings have almost no staying power, and therefore do NOT go on to rank amongst the highest grossing films ever.

Jul 30 - 09:56 AM

Fred Brooks

Fred Brooks

You forget two very important factors my friend, one TDKR numbers we're much more front loaded than "The Avengers" was. Another important factor that you fail to reckonize and simply ignore is the dates both films opened, TDKR opened in July when kids are out of school while "The Avengers" opened in May where kids are still in school. So those Midnight numbers that you talk about are a little misleading.

Aug 2 - 09:42 PM

Fred Brooks

Fred Brooks

50 million lost in one weekend, man you're nuts, 10 million at the most maybe 15 million and that's a stretch. Stop fantasizing man.

Aug 2 - 09:36 PM

King  S.

King Simba

They did a polling recently and 20% of the people polled were hesitant to go to the movies due to Aurora shooting, so yeah the shooting did have an impact. Not as much as some would like to believe (even if it hadn't been for the shooting I dobut it would have made more than 175 mil OW), but still an impact nonetheless.

Jul 30 - 01:11 AM

Isaac

Isaac H

I think you're spot on with that $175M number. The shooting may have impacted the gross, but there's no way TDKR would have surpassed Avenger's opening weekend, even without the shooting and the Olympics. It's just not in the books.

Jul 30 - 04:36 PM

Onion Rovirosa

Onion Rovirosa

20% of 160 = 32
160+32=192
-
192 MILLIONS OPENING WEEKEND

Jul 30 - 05:58 PM

King  S.

King Simba

Onion - you have to consider though, how many of those people who were hesitant about going to movies in general were planning on seeing TDKR? I mean I could see the shooting being yet one more reason for someone not to go see something like The Watch or Step Up 4, but not so much one of the most hyped films in history.

Jul 31 - 01:30 AM

Fred Brooks

Fred Brooks

I think any sane reasonable mind realizes that. Obviously the shootings were tragic and had some effect, but not to nearly the degree some are saying and i think deep down they even know that, they just don't want to admit it. Hell me and some buddies went to see TDKR the following night, and none of us even blinked without hesitation about going to see it. This film was wayyy.... too anticipated(The most anticipated film of the year)for people not to see, tragedy or not, no way i'm buying that. If the tragedy truly had a significant impact, TDKR would have taken in 80-85 million it's second weekend most likely. People are not going to stay away from a film they want to see badly, they just are'nt, sorry i give people much more credit than that.

Aug 2 - 09:56 PM

Iggi Ignoramus

Iggi Ignoramus

TDKR would have earned more if there was no Aurora shooting, the shooting led to a bad impact on the movie and the collection fell aftermath.

Jul 30 - 02:05 AM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

I don't think there's any chance DKR could have ever matched DK. It doesn't have the insane energy of Heath's Joker, it's more somber, muted and methodical. It's still a good movie, but it definitely doesn't leave the same impression as its predecessors

Jul 29 - 05:16 PM

Isaac

Isaac H

I agree; like it or not, the reason TDK did such huge numbers at the box office compared to Batman Begins was largely the hype surrounding Heath Ledger's Joker performance, as well as his death. Of course the rave reviews helped, but there's no getting around the facts. It's for this reason that I never expected TDKR to match TDK commercially, despite it being a fantastic film in its own right.

Jul 29 - 05:42 PM

Ryan N.

Ryan Nolan

It sounds as if it will match TDK commercially world wide, just not domestically. I don't think TDKR is quite as good as TDK so the threequel making slightly less in North America is only fair.

Jul 30 - 10:22 AM

Saim Cheeda

Saim Cheeda

Thank you! I loved Batman Begins but i have maintained for the past 4 years that it was heath ledgers performance which has made the Batman series famous. Considering BB made 372M worldwide and TDK passing the 1B mark. TDKR has picked up the momentum from its predecessor but without ledger it was expected to gross lower than DK although it is a very good film!

Jul 30 - 01:38 PM

Vincent Fissore

Vincent Fissore

It may have altered some movie plans for some people (the more security-crazed people, for sure, and surely some sensible ones). However, the Olympics opening has possibly played a part in the drop (although DK did have the same challenge back in '08, and did not suffer as much from it). In the end, you may be right: we will never know.

Jul 29 - 05:25 PM

TheCriticAlex

Stanley Beans

That's true although the Summer Olympics in 2008 didn't start until August 8th. The Dark Knight's fourth consecutive week it was number 1. So that movie had more time unlike TDKR in which the Olympics started in it's second week. I really don't think TDKR will be number 1 for four weeks though. Especially when the Olympics is playing for like 2 weeks.

Jul 29 - 05:57 PM

Vincent Fissore

Vincent Fissore

Ah! I completely forgot the fact that the Beijing Olympics started much later than those in London... Thanks for the reminder.

Jul 29 - 06:50 PM

Isaac

Isaac H

Sad, but probably true, especially with Total Recall opening next weekend and The Bourne Legacy opening August 10.

Jul 29 - 07:11 PM

Isaac

Isaac H

I agree; like it or not, the reason TDK did such huge numbers at the box office compared to Batman Begins was largely the hype surrounding Heath Ledger's Joker performance, as well as his death. Of course the rave reviews helped, but there's no getting around the facts. It's for this reason that I never expected TDKR to match TDK commercially, despite it being a fantastic film in its own right.

Jul 29 - 05:42 PM

Ryan N.

Ryan Nolan

It sounds as if it will match TDK commercially world wide, just not domestically. I don't think TDKR is quite as good as TDK so the threequel making slightly less in North America is only fair.

Jul 30 - 10:22 AM

TheCriticAlex

Stanley Beans

That's true although the Summer Olympics in 2008 didn't start until August 8th. The Dark Knight's fourth consecutive week it was number 1. So that movie had more time unlike TDKR in which the Olympics started in it's second week. I really don't think TDKR will be number 1 for four weeks though. Especially when the Olympics is playing for like 2 weeks.

Jul 29 - 05:57 PM

Vincent Fissore

Vincent Fissore

Ah! I completely forgot the fact that the Beijing Olympics started much later than those in London... Thanks for the reminder.

Jul 29 - 06:50 PM

Isaac

Isaac H

Sad, but probably true, especially with Total Recall opening next weekend and The Bourne Legacy opening August 10.

Jul 29 - 07:11 PM

Ralph

Ralph Myers

I can't believe I wasted my money on The Watch, this year has really sucked for movies, the only really standout films i've seen are Moonrise Kingdom (which was absolutely amazing) Prometheus and Magic Mike, besides those three this year has really sucked so far, hopefully The Master will make up for everything, also gonna try and catch Beasts of the Southern Wild downtown tomorrow hopefully that makes up for all the shit that's been hitting the screen

Jul 29 - 05:59 PM

Onion Rovirosa

Onion Rovirosa

the year has been great in movies....your choices (the watch) have not.
hahha :)

Jul 29 - 06:04 PM

Vincent Fissore

Vincent Fissore

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" is as great a movie as "Moonrise Kingdom" is. Very good choice, from my point of view.

Jul 29 - 06:51 PM

dj Mark

Mark Marquis

Unfortunately Beasts isn't playing everywhere. Looking forward to it very much when (if) it does.

Aug 1 - 03:44 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I think the fall and winter are really where this year is going to shine. Lawless, Cosmopolis, The Master, Looper, Killing Them Softly, The Man with the Iron Fists, Seven Psychopaths, Skyfall, Lincoln, The Hobbit, Kathryn Bigelow's Osama Bin Laden film, and Django Unchained all have solid releases dates and at the minimum look/sound interesting, if not great. Those are just the films with concrete release dates. Factor in the foreign films and other indies that do not have release dates like The Place Beyond the Pines, and the second half of this year looks absurdly promising.

Jul 29 - 08:25 PM

Vincent Fissore

Vincent Fissore

And you have forgotten "Rise of the Guardians", "Les Miserables" and "Wreck-it-Ralph". However, all the movies you have cited are to be eagerly expected.

Jul 29 - 09:24 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Chronicle, Avengers, Promotheus (could have been better), The Dark Knight Rises, Brave... This year has already topped the last two years by leaps and bounds. Of course there's been some suck, there always is - especially comedies which have experienced just an awful streak. I haven't seen a really funny movie in a long time.

Jul 29 - 09:15 PM

Isaac

Isaac H

Good/great movies so far this year: The Grey, Chronicle, The Secret World of Arrietty, The Hunger Games, 21 Jump Street, Men in Black 3, The Avengers, Brave, Prometheus, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises.
Sure, not all of those are destined to be classics, but they're all rock-solid films, and that's excluding Moonrise Kingdom and a few other arthouse hits I've still neglected to see. 2012 has been a spectacular year for cinema so far, and the August through December frame shows no signs of slowing down.

Jul 29 - 10:23 PM

Onion Rovirosa

Onion Rovirosa

the year has been great in movies....your choices (the watch) have not.
hahha :)

Jul 29 - 06:04 PM

Onion Rovirosa

Onion Rovirosa

At least 50 millions from the opening weekend due to the tragedy and another 10 millions lost this weekend due to the Olympics.
Stil, i believe it will have not problem reaching 500 millions again. There is 0 competition and the movie was amazing.

Jul 29 - 06:06 PM

Isaac

Isaac H

I have a hard time believing those numbers. I doubt TDKR could have beaten The Avengers' $207M opening weekend, even with the ideal conditions. I would think it lost $10-15M tops from both events combined.

Jul 29 - 07:10 PM

Nick Peters

Nick Peters

I dont completely agree as I was going to see it the opening weekend and waited until this weekend to go see it because of the events that unfolded.

Jul 29 - 08:17 PM

Isaac

Isaac H

I recognize your decision, but I think you're in the vast minority. While it's undoubtable that the shooting affected TDKR's gross, I can't imagine it deterred much of its (almost entirely) hardcore audience from seeing it opening weekend. Still, as I stated above, you may be right. We'll never know for sure.

Jul 29 - 08:32 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Avengers made more because:

A) The shootings affected its gross (to what extend, no way to tell.

B) Avengers had 3D showings (Here, that means 12.50 a ticket vs 7.50 a ticket. Other places are much more expensive, I'm sure).

C) Avengers is light and airy, and very much like a comic book whilst Batman is bleak and gritty ala a graphic novel. I'm sure there were many more young kids being brought to Avengers, and you know they wanted to see it in 3D. Avengers also may have had a broader appeal to female audience members.

Bottom line is, thus far the two best movies this year were both Superhero films. Until the Hobbit, that is.

Jul 29 - 09:10 PM

Isaac

Isaac H

@Val You nailed it there. It was a combination of all those elements, but it's simply shortsighted to say that the shooting stopped TDKR from dethroning The Avengers. It's a shame its gross was affected by the tragedy, but that doesn't mean we need to discredit The Avengers. They're both spectacular films in their own unique ways.

Jul 29 - 09:35 PM

Onion Rovirosa

Onion Rovirosa

? From the experts: http://boxofficemojo.com/news/?id=3491&p=.htm
? Plus remember the movie had a much higher midnight grosses than avengers, in fact it was tracking much higher than what originally was anticipated. The Colorado Shooting had a huge impact.
? I will admit it, if i was a parent, even i know is unrational i would have ask my kids to wait at least one week to see the movie. People were scared and with a perfect good reason....copycats were a high possibility and no manny adults were willing to take the risk for a "movie".

Jul 29 - 11:36 PM

Isaac

Isaac H

The reason its midnight gross was so high was, in my mind, mostly thanks to the fact that it was the final installment in a trilogy, and therefore had a much more upfront audience. To put it in perspective, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 currently holds the record for largest midnight showing ever at $42M, but its overall domestic gross, totaling at about $370M, is dwarfed by The Avengers total domestic tally of $610M, even though The Avengers only did $19M or so at midnight showings. In other words, a larger midnight showing means absolutely nothing in the scheme of things. In fact, often films with larger midnight showings have almost no staying power, and therefore do NOT go on to rank amongst the highest grossing films ever.

Jul 30 - 09:56 AM

Fred Brooks

Fred Brooks

You forget two very important factors my friend, one TDKR numbers we're much more front loaded than "The Avengers" was. Another important factor that you fail to reckonize and simply ignore is the dates both films opened, TDKR opened in July when kids are out of school while "The Avengers" opened in May where kids are still in school. So those Midnight numbers that you talk about are a little misleading.

Aug 2 - 09:42 PM

Fred Brooks

Fred Brooks

50 million lost in one weekend, man you're nuts, 10 million at the most maybe 15 million and that's a stretch. Stop fantasizing man.

Aug 2 - 09:36 PM

Kriftonucci

Jim Ylonen

There are alot of problems I had with this new one. But I want to focus my attention to the exploration of a different question. One that looms throughout the movie:

Do they even MENTION the Joker? Caue at least THE SCARECROW got a medium shot!

Jul 29 - 06:40 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Nolan's avoidance of The Joker was a good decision in my opinion. It would either be sort of out of place due to how limited it would have to be, or feel like they were exploiting Ledger just for fan service. The Scarecrow cameo was really awesome and inspired; just showing a guy with green hair from behind or using an audio clip or something to hint at The Joker would be a disservice to Ledger and the character. If Joker was locked up in Blackgate or Arkham when Bane let out all the prisoners, he would have been terrorizing Gotham on levels that made Bane look like a pussy-cat, so it would have also been out of character to mention Batman's ultimate nemesis during the chaos of the last two acts but not have him really do anything or have Batman pursue him. And it sort of became an in-joke within the franchise to have the Dr. Crane pop up due to his appearance in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, so I think the Scarecrow cameo was more than justified.

Jul 29 - 08:35 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

Agree, it was 8 years. Who's to say no one shanked The Joker in Blackgate Dahmer style. There was certainly no obligation to include him and I think it was classy to let Ledger's performance stand on it's own. Scarecrow's appearance was more appropriate because of the films focus on The League of Shadows and Ra's (Still don't know why Nolan pronounced it Roz when the creaters of the animated series made a point that it's pronounced Raysh, that always really bugged me) past and associates. Plus, it just really worked, it lightened the mood of a very bleak film without resorting to slapstick or farce and Crane's appearance and the "Death...by exile" line were two of maybe 4 or 5 occasions where people were allowed to laugh. For a movie this long and dark those few bits of levity were much appreciated while a Joker cameo would have probably just made people more melancholy for Ledger.

Jul 30 - 02:09 AM

King Crunk

King Crunk

That was my thinking, too. The Joker was the sort of monster even society's worst find despicable, so it is not crazy to assume he was killed in prison or even committed suicide since his purpose for living was to cause chaos and torment Batman. Hell, it is clear he does not really give two shits about living in The Dark Knight; he just wants to prove that everything and everyone is corruptible and break Batman. I prefer Nolan's decision to leave the Joker's fate ambiguous and let the audience make up their own epilogue for his fate.

Jul 30 - 08:45 PM

Kriftonucci

Jim Ylonen

So what you're saying is everything the Joker did was utterly useless in The Dark Knight that they can't even give him a nod? I find it ironic and dissapointing that Aaron Eckhart and Maggie Gyllenhaal's deceased characters are at least shown (even though it would've been much more appropriate to showcase Katie Holmes' face, given all that League of Shadows mumbo jumbo) but it's too much dissrespect to merely mention The Joker, NOT HEATH LEDGER NOR HIS FACE, but The Joker's NAME as a standlaone character. Nolan's a smart guy, he could've found a way to at least show, in a quick second, the MASK The Joker wore at the beginning of The Dark Knight or something of equal significance. Not many people would get it so it would've been respectful enough for the fans and people still mourning Ledger's passing. But in MY opinion, this film didn't work if what The Joker did wasn't acknowledged, or even admitted, as the impact that left everyone, especially Bruce, as they were (seeing as he was a Hermit and all).
@BigBrother but that's just IT! They never DO say if they gave him the chair or not! And believe what you want but Crane's cameo made him completely out of character (a judge? really?)! I can understand showing Joker's face might have turned emotional turmoil over the crowd but it's not as if showing a simple image of the card they got at the end of Batman Begins was gonna make people go "D'AWWW". In fact, if anything caused emotional turmoil for the fans, it was when John Blake revealed his true identity!

And don't get me wrong but Ra's appearance as a ghost or whatever was utterly pointless.

Jul 30 - 09:48 AM

ProducerPaul

Paul Barrett

Read the interview with Chris Nolan in the Entertainment Weekly with Batman on the cover (2 weeks ago, I believe) He explains exactly why he specifically DID NOT want to mention the Joker.

Jul 30 - 01:24 PM

Kriftonucci

Jim Ylonen

I'm in Mexico, silly buns.

Jul 30 - 03:29 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

Everything has an online equivalent these days amigo. Personally I could have gone either way. I wasn't disappointed they didn't include him, I wouldn't have minded if they did. Without Ledger around to complete it I was very indifferent. Had Ledger lived, sure include him because he'd earned it. With him dead, his performance was so pitch perfect I don't see a cameo or a prop adding to the legacy and it very well could have come across wrong and tarnished one of the great performances of the last decade and probably the greatest comic book performance of all time. As for Crane I totally got it and a ton of audience members did too. That's the only argument I can make. If it's not your cup of tea, it's not. I liked it because it reminded me of the old animated series where the inmates of Arkham put Gordon and Batman on trial for "their crimes" and I didn't feel it was out of character, Scarecrow is an established nutjob and what's really out of character for an insane person?

Jul 31 - 04:08 AM

Vincent Fissore

Vincent Fissore

Ah! I completely forgot the fact that the Beijing Olympics started much later than those in London... Thanks for the reminder.

Jul 29 - 06:50 PM

Vincent Fissore

Vincent Fissore

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" is as great a movie as "Moonrise Kingdom" is. Very good choice, from my point of view.

Jul 29 - 06:51 PM

dj Mark

Mark Marquis

Unfortunately Beasts isn't playing everywhere. Looking forward to it very much when (if) it does.

Aug 1 - 03:44 PM

Isaac

Isaac H

I have a hard time believing those numbers. I doubt TDKR could have beaten The Avengers' $207M opening weekend, even with the ideal conditions. I would think it lost $10-15M tops from both events combined.

Jul 29 - 07:10 PM

Nick Peters

Nick Peters

I dont completely agree as I was going to see it the opening weekend and waited until this weekend to go see it because of the events that unfolded.

Jul 29 - 08:17 PM

Isaac

Isaac H

I recognize your decision, but I think you're in the vast minority. While it's undoubtable that the shooting affected TDKR's gross, I can't imagine it deterred much of its (almost entirely) hardcore audience from seeing it opening weekend. Still, as I stated above, you may be right. We'll never know for sure.

Jul 29 - 08:32 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Avengers made more because:

A) The shootings affected its gross (to what extend, no way to tell.

B) Avengers had 3D showings (Here, that means 12.50 a ticket vs 7.50 a ticket. Other places are much more expensive, I'm sure).

C) Avengers is light and airy, and very much like a comic book whilst Batman is bleak and gritty ala a graphic novel. I'm sure there were many more young kids being brought to Avengers, and you know they wanted to see it in 3D. Avengers also may have had a broader appeal to female audience members.

Bottom line is, thus far the two best movies this year were both Superhero films. Until the Hobbit, that is.

Jul 29 - 09:10 PM

Isaac

Isaac H

@Val You nailed it there. It was a combination of all those elements, but it's simply shortsighted to say that the shooting stopped TDKR from dethroning The Avengers. It's a shame its gross was affected by the tragedy, but that doesn't mean we need to discredit The Avengers. They're both spectacular films in their own unique ways.

Jul 29 - 09:35 PM

Isaac

Isaac H

Sad, but probably true, especially with Total Recall opening next weekend and The Bourne Legacy opening August 10.

Jul 29 - 07:11 PM

Jaxx Raxor

Adam Jones

TDKR won the weekend as expected but it wasn't as good as the previous film. It only barely beat the weekend total of TDK so I guess the lack of a notable role like Heath Ledger's Joker is hurting the film a bit. Still its a financial success, just not at the heights that Avengers has reached.

The Watch did much worse than I expected. Of course reviews were also much worse than I expected, and its the rare occurance of audiences and critics basically agreeing.

Step Up Revolution also did poorly, but that movie had lower expectations and a lower budget than the Watch anyway. Teen girls and young women have moved on to bigger and better franchises Twilight and The Hunger Games, so I guess Step Up is starting to run out of steam as a franchise.

Even though this last weekend in July was a disappointment, August should look good with at least three big hits coming out in Total Recall (coming next week), The Bourne Legacy, and Expendables 2 liking ranking in more cash for Hollywood than usual in August, plus some other films that could be break out hits like ParaNorman.

Jul 29 - 07:12 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Finally saw TDKR last week. I have been avoiding comments and reviews of the movie until I saw it. Here are my thoughts on the flick, if anyone gives a shit?. SPOILERS!

The Good

The score ? The score was amazing. Gothams Reckoning is intense and invigorating. The score made the emotional impact of this movie feel like a sledgehammer.

Batman ? We were once again reminded why we love this dark hero so much. I was so pumped when Batman got back into action. I loved the shot of all the police cars bearing down on Batman. He was in full form here and I loved it.

Catwoman ? Hathaway kind of stole the show IMO. She was sexy, smart, tough, and believable. I was worried about her outfit after the first released photos of her but it all worked for me. I?ve been reading that people think her character was pointless but I found her integral to the story and was glad to see Bruce end up with her.

The action ? It seems that Nolan finally got his action cam down pat. The action was crisp, discernable, and exciting. Nice wide shots that let the action flow across the screen. The police chase and, of course, the final battle was great.

The ending ? Very satisfying. Very emotional. I have come to know these characters all over again (since the comics, ?89 Batman, etc.) and was very touched to see them all realize that Batman lives! The statue, the fixed Bat signal, the autopilot, and of course the restaurant were all very powerful. A great way to end the trilogy.

The Bad

Bane ? If Hardy wasn?t behind the mask, Bane would have been a total loss to me. He was threatening of course, but the voice, his size (should have been taller and more ripped), and the lack of explanation of his ability to be so strong didn?t work for me. And his death was very anti-climatic.

Talia ? Cottilard is a great actress, but Talia?s actions in this movie baffled me. Why did she sleep with Wayne then at the end only show disgust for him? He had already handed over Wayne Enterprises and the energy source to her, why did she have to bang him? It didn?t mesh well.

The disposition ? Why does everyone have a speech ready to go at the right time? The dialogue felt forced and unnatural at times.

Det. Blake ? Snooze fest of a character and a waste of Levitt.

The Nit Picky

The cops being underground for months then coming out clean shaven, with haircuts, and laundered uniforms.

Batmans back getting fixed in no time. Then when he crawls out of the prison, he gets back to Gotham in less than a day? With no money and ID? Mmmmm, k.

Killing. Batman won?t kill but his buddies will. Gordon, Blake, and Catwoman kill multiple people and these killings help Batman and his cause immensely. So even though he doesn?t pull the trigger, Batman utilizes killing and that?s something that just isn?t in character with the Bat.

All in all though, I found TDKR to be a fantastic film and an epic final act to this epic trilogy. Kudos to all involved and thanks for taking The Batman so seriously.;)

Jul 29 - 07:48 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I really enjoyed Hardy as Bane. I thought his voice actually added to the character. It seemed very warm and concerned in an odd way, while also being cold and calculating. The one problem I really noticed in reguards to him was that the movie really never explains the purpose and effects of the anastetic that runs through his mask. They mention he was severely hurt (presumably from the beating he took when helping Talia escape Pena Dura) and needed to have the substance flowing into his system constantly to allow him to deal with the pain of his injuries, but one thing that is not mentioned in the movie, but is in the production notes of the film released months and months ago, is that the anastetic numbs his nerves to all but the most intense pain. That is why he was able to just shrug Batman's punches off like they were nothing. Batman was hitting him hard as hell and probably doing damage to Bane's body, but Bane simply could not feel it. Hardy was definitely big and muscular, he just did not get extremely toned for the role, which did not bother me. I also believe Nolan used some camera trickery to actually make Hardy look taller than he is, because Bale has about five or six inches on Hardy in height, but they look roughly the same in the film.

Jul 29 - 08:59 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

There was actually a short exposition while Bruce is in the Pit about how Bane got his injuries and you're correct it was helping the escape. The Dr. was the one who tried to stitch him up and botched it.

As for Talia, I think we can all agree the best way for a chick to really stick it to a guy is to sleep with him. I mean that really teaches us a lesson am I right fella's. Right now, I'm really hoping my personal feuds with Morena Baccarin, Scarlett Johanson, Anne Hathaway, Kate Upton and Michelle Janneke don't reach that point :)

Jul 30 - 02:20 AM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I agree with you on Talia's reasoning for sleeping with Wayne. She knew he was reclusive and lonely, so what better way for her to really crush Wayne than gain his trust and heart?

Jul 30 - 08:39 PM

Leo Monteiro

Leo Monteiro

JGL was amazing in DKR, very meaty role; he and hathaway did remarkable work.

Jul 29 - 08:59 PM

Onion Rovirosa

Onion Rovirosa

Bane is awesome, hate how kids today want everything made with cgi like hulk 2008... boring. I prefer practical effect any day of the week, The thing from F4 and Iron Man are good examples of great practicle effects.

Only one thing i dislike in the movie: I wish Gotham City could have kept the look from the Batman Begins. Keep seeing NYC was a bit distracting.

Jul 29 - 11:43 PM

Lucas Dias Rodrigues Dos Santos

Lucas Dias Rodrigues Dos Santos

I agree! In Batman Begins, Gotham is DARK AS HELL and has towering elevated subway structures, all of which disappear in the Dark Knight (which is just...Chicago) and which are even more incoherently denied in The Dark Knight Rises.
New York? Why!?
And also, the Wayne Tower changes between the movies.
But, I don't really mind that. That Gotham inconsistency is the only flaw I found in TDKR, I loved the film

Jul 30 - 11:13 AM

Chris McJunkin

Chris McJunkin

Spoiler Reply on TDKR:

"Why did she sleep with Wayne then at the end only show disgust for him? He had already handed over Wayne Enterprises and the energy source to her, why did she have to bang him? It didn?t mesh well. "

There was a whole bit where they talked about stringing along the victim by giving them hope before defeat. I think she was supposed to be that, his damsel in distress to save since he was unable to save Rachel in the previous movie. To find that she was the mastermind was as emotionally devastating to Bruce as having her literally stabbing him and twisting the knife. Talia getting close to him, sleeping with him, that would make the double cross so much more painful. That's the thought at least.

I think it would have been interesting to play it that the villians actually orchestrated Bruce's return to Gotham. That they wanted him to heal and return (it would explain the plot hole of how he got back into the city with no means to do so) and to have victory within his grasps, before snatching it away. It was always a suicide mission for Bane and Talia, I don't think they had any inclination of leaving Gotham before the bomb went off. To have Bruce actually witness the destruction first hand rather than on the television in another country, especially thinking he was going to win, would have been the ultimate defeat.

Jul 30 - 10:52 AM

Nick Peters

Nick Peters

I dont completely agree as I was going to see it the opening weekend and waited until this weekend to go see it because of the events that unfolded.

Jul 29 - 08:17 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I think the fall and winter are really where this year is going to shine. Lawless, Cosmopolis, The Master, Looper, Killing Them Softly, The Man with the Iron Fists, Seven Psychopaths, Skyfall, Lincoln, The Hobbit, Kathryn Bigelow's Osama Bin Laden film, and Django Unchained all have solid releases dates and at the minimum look/sound interesting, if not great. Those are just the films with concrete release dates. Factor in the foreign films and other indies that do not have release dates like The Place Beyond the Pines, and the second half of this year looks absurdly promising.

Jul 29 - 08:25 PM

Vincent Fissore

Vincent Fissore

And you have forgotten "Rise of the Guardians", "Les Miserables" and "Wreck-it-Ralph". However, all the movies you have cited are to be eagerly expected.

Jul 29 - 09:24 PM

Isaac

Isaac H

I recognize your decision, but I think you're in the vast minority. While it's undoubtable that the shooting affected TDKR's gross, I can't imagine it deterred much of its (almost entirely) hardcore audience from seeing it opening weekend. Still, as I stated above, you may be right. We'll never know for sure.

Jul 29 - 08:32 PM

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