Daily Box Office Analysis
By David Mumpower
July 27, 2012
What happens over the next three days will go a long way in determining the box office fate of The Dark Knight Rises. The latest Batman movie is all but certain to finish in first place yet again this weekend. The question is not its placement but rather how much The Dark Knight Rises earns.
There are few instances wherein the third largest debut of all time may be deemed a disappointment. Due to unforeseeable circumstances, The Dark Knight Rises suffered from box office deflation on opening weekend. This behavior has carried over into its weekday results as well. Yesterday, Christopher Nolan’s final Batman movie fell another 4% to $13,202,371. Its first week total of $225,011,359 is a mixed bag.
Yes, I realize that a movie that earns $225 million in seven days is the stuff of myth and legend, all things being equal. The problem is that this Batman movie is not equal. This is the premiere franchise in the industry today due to the brilliance of Nolan. He has restored Batman to its previous box office heights from the Jack Nicholson era. What has happened here is not anyone’s fault. This is an instance of one person’s madness having far reaching repercussions. Of these, box office is a trivial concern.
Still, box office is what we discuss in this column. So, here is the pertinent data. The Dark Knight earned $238,615,211 in its first seven days including $16,464,405 on its first (complete) Thursday. Its successor is now $13.6 million behind that scorching pace. The record setting performance for a first week of box office is owned by The Avengers, which earned a dazzling $270,019,373. Avatar was “only” at $137,094,051 if you’re wondering.
The key aspect to this discussion is that The Dark Knight Rises is flaming out much faster than the other titles up for discussion. With $13.2 million yesterday, we can reasonably project that the Friday box office will see a growth of 41% (what The Dark Knight managed) to 67% (a very high Thursday to Friday increase for a film of this scale). Assuming this is correct, The Dark Knight Rises will earn between $18.6 million and $22 million today.
Let’s use those numbers as guidelines for what happens next. You will know tomorrow that if The Dark Knight Rises performs over $22 million, something special has happened. Presumably, this would indicate that last weekend’s consumers who stayed away due to tragedy are coming back in droves now. If the number is under $18.6 million, Warner Bros. has a lot of problems with this movie, at least domestically.