This week’s box office report comes a day later than usual for what should be obvious reasons. It’s hard to talk about studio success and still show respect for the victims of Friday’s tragedy in Colorado and their families. I’ll keep try my best to keep this focused.
Before we can talk about the opening of ‘The Dark Knight Rises‘, we need to talk about the constantly evolving film industry. Now that 3D generates noticeably higher grosses for films, 3D openings cannot be compared to 2D openings. This has never been more evident than now. ‘The Avengers’ trumped the best opening weekend of all time just a few months ago. Of course, inflated 3D ticket prices influenced its success. Had 3D not been in that movie’s favor, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ (arguably) could have nabbed the “Best Opening of All Time” title. We now need a new category: Best Opening for a 2D Film. After this weekend, the huge $160.9 million three-day opening for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ would earn that title.
There’s no way of gauging what it would have done otherwise, but there’s also no doubt that the Colorado shooting took its toll on the opening of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. After pulling in $30.6 million in midnight ticket sales (enough to place it second in that category next to ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2’) and generating $19 million on domestic IMAX screens, I saw three-day weekend estimates that ranged from $180 million to $210 million. As of today, it seems that the losses are being counted modestly, somewhere between the $10 and $15 million ranges. It’s sad to think that the film could have performed better, but no one is complaining.
‘The Dark Knight Rises’ also added another $88 million in 17 foreign markets. After just three days, the final chapter to Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy has earned $249 million worldwide – and it’s not even done opening overseas yet. In a kind gesture, Warner Bros. will reportedly donate a “substantial” sum of money to a charity that will disperse it amongst the families and victims of the July 20th shooting.
After Friday’s box office, Fox announced how its studio was affected by the shooting. Second-week attendance for the animated flick ‘Ice Age: Continental Drift‘ dropped off severely. Parents presumably did not want to take their children to theaters. Slipping 56.2%, ‘Ice Age’ only pulled in 20.4 million.
As predicted, Batman’s big screen comic book competition, ‘The Amazing Spider-Man‘, took a box office beating in the shadow of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. Spidey slipped a painful 68.6% and only earned $10.8 million in its third weekend.
The critically acclaimed ‘The Queen of Versailles‘ had a very strong opening in just three theaters. Earning an average of $17,109 per screen, this documentary brought in a total of $51,326. Also opening on three screens, ‘The Well-Digger’s Daughter‘ didn’t fare so well, earning just $3,424 per screen and $10,273 in total. Even worse was ‘30 Beats‘, which brought in an average of just $575 on each of its 15 screens, for a not-so-grand total of $8,624.
1. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ (Warner Bros.) – $160,887,295
2. ‘Ice Age: Continental Drift’ (Fox) – $20,416,978
3. ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ (Sony) – $10,887,111
4. ‘Ted’ (Universal) – $10,011,610
5. ‘Brave’ (Buena Vista) – $6,024,987
6. ‘Magic Mike’ (Warner Bros.) – $4,291,432
7. ‘Savages’ (Universal) – $3,398,880
8. ‘Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection’ (Lionsgate) – $2,253,074
9. ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ (Focus) – $1,831,471
10. ‘To Rome with Love’ (Sony Pictures Classics) – $1,420,891