July 15, 2008

Random Musing: The Dark Knight

It is days until July 18th and guess what is just around the corner? "The Dark Knight." The other day, I discussed my intense desire to see the film, and the day of its release rapidly approaches. While anxiously awaiting the day I finally see "The Dark Knight," there has been one other thing on my mind: the film's opening weekend box office. For months I have predicted an enormous box office the size of "Pirates of the Caribbean" or "Lord of the Rings," and I think it might just come true. For now, I want to focus on the opening weekend and the fact that it might cause record books to explode.
With the hype surrounding the film's release, I have long expected a huge opening weekend. Filmschoolrejects.com says five important factors will drive the opening weekend of "The Dark Knight": the fact it is a sequel, it follows a hugely successful film, it has had a powerful, intricate, and lengthy marketing campaign, it has achieved early critical praise, and it is the last film appearance of the recently deceased Heath Ledger. I have to agree with them because I think I have been reasoning based on the same factors they have strategized. Despite this line of thinking, I have mostly gone on gut instinct, so I have decided to turn to some resources on the internet for support.
Cinemablend.com says that "showings of The Dark Knight [are] already selling out in some cities." Not surprising because everyone I know is trying to garner his or her Friday night ticket.
Businesssheet.com thinks "'The Dark Knight' has generated an arguably unprecedented level of interest, and early showings in IMAX theaters and normal multiplexes are selling out left and right - so much so that insiders are predicting a $130 [million] box office take in three days." This sounds about right. Oddly enough, Warner Brothers is trying to tone down this number to around $90 million for the opening weekend so that they will be "surprised" when it is easily surpassed.
Furthermore, MovieTickets.com claims "'The Dark Knight' has sold eight times the amount of tickets online as 'Spider-Man 3' did at the same point during its sales cycle — 21 days prior to release." ("Spider-Man 3" opened to $152 million dollars in its opening weekend, the largest opening weekend in history.) Looks like we have a huge opening weekend on our hands.
But on the other hand, Screenrant.com contends "The Dark Knight" will have a weaker-than-expected opening weekend because of some facts like running time and film rating. Reasonable, but I just do not think it is convincing enough of an argument to prove "The Dark Knight" will not be logically looking at a huge opening weekend. The sequel to the critically and commercially successful "Batman Begins"? Check. The last performance by the late Heath Ledger? Check. A great deal of successful marketing? *looks at multitude of teaser posters flooding the internet* Check. Success.


vich said...

Hi Ben,

Vic from Screen Rant here. The article you referenced was written a month ago, before the hype reached insane levels. Check out my site for an updated article on
"The Dark Knight" opening weekend box office.


John said...

Ben, love you blog. looking forward to meeting you at Vandy next year!