The Dark Knight claims box office history
The final estimated numbers are in, and “The Dark Knight” didn’t just break the record everyone figured it would inevitably break — it smashed it.
Possibly the lamest and most disappointing comic book movie ever, “Spider-Man 3,” has held the record for opening weekend box office for just over a year, and the caped crusader swept in this weekend to steal that claim for himself. “The Dark Knight” brought in an estimated $155-160 Million, completely dismantling the $151 Million mark set by Spidey.
The industry is going completely apeshit over this unprecedented display in economical achievement, and rightly show. It’s going to be a hard bargain trying to top this any time soon, especially with the influx in comic book movies — the genre that seems most logically able to break the record — coming to an end in the next couple of years (Which I already discussed HERE). So, if it’s going to be broken in the near future, I can see “Watchmen” making a push, especially after the way the trailer was received, but a March release date isn’t exactly a great time to go after that record. After that, we might have to wait for possible summer-time releases of the upcoming projects “Spider-Man 4” and Christopher Nolan’s next Batman to make a push toward the record. Even then, it’s going to be tough sledding — this film had to sell $20 Million in midnight showing in addition to the 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. shows around the country, to break the record this time around. From Variety:
“Lightning doesn’t strike often, but it did this time,” said Warners prexy of distribution Dan Fellman. “Chris Nolan took a franchise that was really finished, and he created an incredible film with ‘Batman Begins.’ He put together an outstanding cast in ‘Dark Knight,’ and Heath Ledger’s performance is mesmerizing.”
Not only did the film break individual records, but its $155 Million, with the surprisingly well-received “Mama Mia’s” $27 Million, took in an overall $250 Million, which smashed overall weekend box office record. The previous record holder was the July 2007 weekend that housed the release of “Pirates of the Caribbean III,” which brought in $218 Million. Oh yeah, it also broke the IMAX record. No big deal. There’s pretty much no opening weekend record left standing after this weekend.
Ridiculous. From an exec. involved with “Mama Mia”:
“To be part of this historic weekend and contribute to it the way we did is phenomenal,” Universal prexy of distribution Nikki Rocco said. “I’ve been in this business for 41 years, and this is the kind of weekend you love. It shows that if you build it, they will come.”
I honestly can’t wait to see the numbers from next weekend. Obviously there’s going to be a huge drop-off (there has to be after an intense weekend like this), but I really think that this film, unlike the God-awful “Spider-Man 3,” has the potential for some serious staying power. If for no other reason, hardcore fans (like me) are going to go back three or four times after seeing it the first time.