Daily Box Office Analysis for August 19, 2008

By David Mumpower

August 20, 2008

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Since you people are still showing up in droves to read about The Dark Knight, here is today's update. Another $2,148,332 million on Tuesday is an increase of 1.7% from Monday's $2,112,203. Its running total of $475,342,688. That puts it 79.1% of the way to Titanic's record mark of $600,788,188. BOP's comic books expert, Pete Kilmer (who lies and claims he reads this column), was giving me a hard time yesterday over my indication that the run is over. I think he speaks for a small but vocal ground of obsessive fans of the series who believe that the movie is about to experience some sort of radical recovery wherein it experiences 0% declines from now until 2013.

Folks, I refuse to rule anything out on a movie that can earn $473 million in a month, but until some of this theoretical stuff starts happening, it's a non-story. At the moment, The Dark Knight is a movie that earned $16.4 million over the weekend and has had a pair of $2 million weekdays. It needs $126 million from here on out to break Titanic's mark. Would you expect a film that has earned less than $21 million in five days to earn another $105 million from here on out? Journey to the Center of the Earth earned $21 million in three days and we're absolutely amazed by the fact that it's making a run at $100 million (currently around $89 million as I type this). What Happens in Vegas is roughly the same situation, earning $20.2 million on opening weekend on the way to $80.2 million in domestic receipts. That's the type of range under discussion for The Dark Knight now and we are placing unrealistic expectations on it to hope for.


Similarly, the Academy Awards re-release strategy being bandied around doesn't make a lick of sense since the title will be available on DVD and Blu-Ray this December. In fact, as I have been telling my sitemates, the far more interesting question right now about the film is whether it can do for Blu-Ray's viability what The Matrix did for DVD. Transformers gave a brief but impressive amount of attention to the now defunct HD-DVD market upon its release. The new Batman film is roughly double that title in scale and thanks to IMAX technology, it may offer the first true justification for the state of the art technology of the 1080p movie projection the format affords. Forget about The Dark Knight beating Titanic now. Barring something unforeseen, it has made its run and gotten closer than anyone would have ever expected. It's now time to start looking ahead to the other ancillary markets wherein it can make further financial killings.

Box office for the top ten saw combined receipts of $13,814,339. This is up almost 1% from Monday's total of $13,690,081. Then again, that's less than The Dark Knight made on its own on any of its first ten days in theaters. The only thing worse than late August box office is...September box office.

Daily Box Office for Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Rank Film Distributor Daily Gross Daily Change Weekly Change Running Total
1 Tropic Thunder DreamWorks $3,257,597 - 9.3% N/A $43,963,927
2 The Dark Knight Warner Bros. Pictures $2,148,332 + 1.7% - 38.9% $475,342,688
3 The Pineapple Express Sony/Columbia $1,579,790 + 1.3% - 51.9% $65,880,810
4 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Warner Bros. Pictures $1,338,022 - 2.1% N/A $17,315,825
5 Mamma Mia! Universal $1,148,665 + 23.7% - 25.9% $118,090,665
6 Mirrors Twentieth Century Fox $1,128,295 - 3.7% N/A $13,461,323
7 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 Warner Bros. Pictures $1,006,446 + 12.7% - 43.5% $33,902,313
8 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor Universal $992,085 + 7.3% - 49.1% $88,162,685
9 Step Brothers Columbia Pictures (Sony) $721,697 + 4.4% - 47.4% $92,108,931
10 Vicky Cristina Barcelona The Weinstein Company $493,410 + 9.4% N/A $4,699,842
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations

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