Friday Box Office Analysis
By Tim Briody
July 28, 2012

(Non) intimidating.

The Dark Knight Rises

First off, The Dark Knight Rises is very easily the top film on Friday with $18.1 million. On the surface, that's fine. But looking closer, that is a 76% decline from last Friday, and a 59.8% decline if you remove the midnight showings box office from the opening Friday figure. That's...not good.

If you followed David Mumpower's daily box office analysis this week, the story over the last few days has been the steady decline of The Dark Knight Rises throughout the week culminating with $13.2 million on Thursday, so what just happened here is an increase of 37.1%. The Dark Knight saw a Thursday-to-Friday increase of 41%, which we considered the absolute floor for what The Dark Knight Rises would, well, rise on Friday. Uh-oh.

What has happened here is the combination of tragedy and the Olympics have created the perfect storm to keep viewers away from theaters. While we were hopeful that last weekend was an aberration and audiences would return after the headlines subsided, that has not been the case at all.

There's a chance that with the Opening Ceremonies being a huge draw on television last night, viewers return to the theaters on Saturday and stop some of the bleeding. But with the wall to wall Olympics coverage on the first full day of events, plus the lingering effects of the Aurora shooting, suddenly even $400 million is rapidly becoming a pipe dream. The Dark Knight had a second weekend multiplier of 3.24. If The Dark Knight Rises manages this, that's a second weekend of $58.6 million. Despite the lower numbers, that's actually not even a given. It very well could have a soft Saturday, courtesy of the Olympics, and come in even worse.

Step Up: Revolution

The fourth Step Up entry comes in with $4.9 million on Friday, good enough for second place. This is a step back from Step Up 3D, which started with $6.6 million back in the first weekend of August 2010, mostly thanks to the 3D gimmick, which was newer at the time. Revolution is also in 3D but still had to compete with the Olympics and that the overall box office is still down. Step Up 3D had only a 2.37 multiplier, and I would expect Revolution to perform slightly better than that over the rest of the weekend, so I would look for it to come in with $12.8 million.

[tm:2253_]The Watch[/tm]

One of the more doomed projects of 2012, The Watch (formerly called Neighborhood Watch, but changed after the Trayvon Martin shooting) earned $4.5 million on Friday, despite the presence of [bp:122_]Ben Stiller[/bp] and [bp:967_]Vince Vaughn[/bp]. Not that this contains many laughs, but it's not too great a time to be a comedy at this moment. Give it about $12.1 million for the weekend.