‘Avengers’ & ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Couldn’t Save the 2012 Summer Movie Box Office

Published 3 years ago by , Updated September 7th, 2012 at 1:35 pm,

2012 Summer Box Office Low Avengers & Dark Knight Rises Couldnt Save the 2012 Summer Movie Box Office

Heading into summer 2012 it looked like it could be one for the record books. With two of the biggest cinematic events in years releasing within the same 3-month period – one of which was the follow-up to 2008’s top-grossing film – it appeared as if 2012 wasn’t just going to surpass previous summer records – it was going to smash them.

However, now that the dust has settled on the 2012 summer season, we are disappointed to report that it was actually nearly a record low year – one that was only kept out of the proverbial basement by several highlights, chief among them The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises.

When we say that the box office was at a low, though, that isn’t in reference to revenue – earnings were actually the second-best ever at $4.27 Billion – but rather the amount of tickets sold between the first weekend of May and Labor Day. In that time, only 532 million tickets were sold – a tally that is 4 percent less than 2011, and that year arguably didn’t have the type of product 2012 did.

As fans know, The Avengers ($620M) kicked the summer off right, demolishing opening weekend records and paving the way for what should have been a fantastic summer. Unfortunately, mid-level box office fodder failed to perform even on a minimum level; movies like Battleship ($65M) and Total Recall ($56M) couldn’t get their genre-specific audiences into the theaters.

Along the way there were several highlights: The Amazing Spider-Man ($259M) far exceeded our expectations, and Seth MacFarlane’s Ted ($216M) made for a very strong R-rated debut – but beyond those few examples, it was a lot more disappointments than successes. Films like Prometheus ($126M) and Men in Black 3 ($178M), while successful at the outset, couldn’t sustain the type of box office attendance needed to keep 2012 from trending downwards.

Aside from The Avengers, Spider-Man, and reliable animated staples like Pixar’s Brave ($232M) and Madagascar 3 ($214M), only Dark Knight Rises ($433M) managed to deliver some truly blockbuster-worthy numbers. Catching Avengers‘ tally was going to take some work, but before TDKR‘s release it seemed possible. At the end of the day, though, Nolan’s Batman Trilogy finale delivered an impressive opening weekend haul, and is continually climbing up the highest-grosser list.

the dark knight rises Avengers & Dark Knight Rises Couldnt Save the 2012 Summer Movie Box Office

Since 1993, when the tracking of tickets sold began, there hasn’t been a number as low as 532 million – though 2010 comes in at a close second (536 million). Revenues were looking very solid early in the year – with films like The Hunger Games breaking their own records – but by the time tallies are finalized, it will be the first time revenue is down in seven years.

But what of the summer of 2012 – why was this year a record low? While it’s hard to be certain, the easiest route would be to blame the product available. DVD turnaround times, rising ticket prices, and general blockbuster fatigue certainly contribute to a stalling box office, but 2012’s revenue – which was only down 3 percent from last year’s record-breaking haul of $4.47 billion – proves the summer season can still make its mark.

Next summer has several exciting films to look forward to – most importantly Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel – but the odds of an Avengers repeat are highly unlikely. Still, if there’s enough (consistent) product to fill up the theater seats, it would make for an improvement over this year.

Source: Huffington Post (Domestic Revenues courtesy of Box Office Mojo)

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  1. It’s because it was brought down by too many dissapointments in the form of The Dark Knight Rises and others. You gotta admit the plot holes really killed half of these movies and it just seems like it was rushed than brought together in time. It’s a shame how directors turn into frequent film hacks ie Nolan.

    • Personally I liked the film. Maybe not as much as its predessesor but I liked-loved it in its own right. But opinions be opinions.

      • Most of the plot holes can be solved by your own imagination. its really annoying that it keeps coming up as the only movie with so called plot holes. when Prometheus and the avengers had its fair share. the dkr biggest fault was attempting to fit 8 months or more into a movie with continues time jumps which are hard to follow.

        • plot holes? What plot holes are they?

          • For a film that supposedly has so many plot holes, I am fascinated, amused, and saddened by the fact that these naysayers keep bringing up holes THAT ARE NOT HOLES. I found the film cohesive, well thought-out, and strong in both its implementation AND performances/story. TDKR made very good/very effective sense, and the the individual components fit quite logically and beautifully together.

            Oh, and for JerseySchindler, above, you are SOOOO right: Clearly, a film solidly entering the realm of ONE BILLION DOLLARS (without 3D, mind you) is an obvious disappointment…Good call on THAT one.


            • it doesnt matter if the movie makes 1 trillion, if people (like me) were disappointed with the movie, they/we were disappointed with it.
              as far as “plot holes”, well, i don’t consider them holes, but rather bad story telling. Bruce’s magic knee brace; Bruce apparently able to keep said magic brace on when he’s in the prison;fixing a slipped disc buy punching it and have him hang on a rope for a couple hours/days; falling in the pit tied to a non-stretchy rope ending in a bone-jarring sudden stop from what looks like 3 or 4 stories high…TWICE, without re-injuring his back; sending EVERY cop in the city into the sewers, who get trapped for 3 months, and yet come out with nary a beard…is that enough or shall i continue?

        • exactly. the movie covered a large time span. there was a lot going on. but the movie was still very enjoyable. and as the article states, TDKR wasn’t part of the problem anyway. i saw total recall and was pretty disappointed. i think prometheus was underrated. sure, it wasn’t a DIRECT alien prequel but how many times did ridley go on the record saying that EXACT same thing?

    • Lol it made 1 billion around the world (including 400million+ in the State) and you blame it on “unimportant details” that you can easily fill in with your own imagination?

      • It’s the directors job to explain the film not the audience. It pisses me off every time when things go unexplained only if they took more time with the script and writing. It’s calling being lazy which these constant director hacks are getting into the habit of.

        • Yes, because all movies should hold the audience’s hand and not trust their intelligence at all.

          • I wouldn’t say there are too many plot holes compared to other similar films, just idiotic script choices, e.g., Batman’s big battle plan consisting of charging thousands of barely-armed cops down a city street into a hail of machine gun and rocket fire. There are about a dozen of really bizarre script choices like this made by Nolan and Goyer that boggle the mind. Combined with the super shoddy editing work done to fit the film to the 2:44 IMAX limit, you got a barely-coherent film with half-baked poorly-explored economic and morality themes, a few good performances, plus big ‘splosions.

            • Yikes…You and yours are serious…Ouch.

              I saw no laziness, no poor choices, no shoddiness in the design or playing of the film.

              Clearly, we saw different films.

          • Exactly, feed them bread and circuses and keep them docile. We don’t want people actually thinking… :(

        • The director and writers DID explain everything that needed explaining. The rest was left up to what was SUPPOSED to be an intelligent audience. The script was quite polished and made excellent sense; the story flowed; and the acting (both verbal and physical) conveyed necessary details. I really do NOT understand what confused you about this film…

          • You probably know how much I loved TDKR (and if you don’t: I LOVED it lol. One of my all time favorite films), but you have to admit… there were a few holes in the story (and I NEVER use the term “plot holes” lightly).

            I won’t waste time by listing them all here (although the one that irks me a lot is how Wayne got back to Gotham so quickly/easily), but a simple, quick look on ScreenRant’s TDKR spoiler discussion will throw out enough examples.

            • …but you see, THAT is precisely what I’m wondering: WHAT were these plot holes? The specific one you mention above was not a plot hole. Bruce was shown to be comfortable getting around the world without outright relying on his wealth. He could’ve gotten into Gotham (even while it’s under strict “lock-and-key”), whether by using an “off-the-books” abandoned drainage tunnel, an old, currently unused underground railway/subway tunnel (remember that Bruce’s father had the current system built when he (dad) was an adult…what might have been there before?), etc. The audience did not need a particular explanation because we knew from previous films that he (and/or Alfred and/or Lucius) had back-ups and hiding places.

              I read through all of the spoiler thread(s) and even responded to many comments. THOSE, as well as the above statements were precisely why I responded the way I did here.

              • -It was not explained how Wayne got from another country/continent (looked to be South-America) to Gotham without any money, or without people figuring out he’s Batman.
                -It was not explained how he knew about the bomb and EXACTLY to where the timer was set.
                -It was not explained how he managed to climb up the pit and make that huge jump without the fancy leg brace that enabled him to walk.
                -It wasn’t explained how/when he jumped out of the Bat. There are different theories, but nothing concrete (personally, I’ve just accepted that he hit the eject button at some point)
                -There’s no explanation to when Batman had the time make a big fire that would light up in the shape of a bat, or sort out his will.
                -The quick change between day and night during the stock exchange scene.

                Those are just some examples…

                For me personally, none of these iffy-story threads really ruined the movie, or even detracted from the viewing experience and while I still, absolutely love the movie, I’m not going to pretend that these questions/plot holes/unexplained story threads (whatever you want to call it) don’t exist – just like I’m not ignoring how the aliens in The Avengers just collapsed (PM style), how Selvig installed a fail-safe, and how Loki’s minions got on board the Hellicarier so easily (to name a few examples.)

                In the end, a movie’s just that: A MOVIE. It’s not real life, and there’ll always be little (or big) coincidences or unexplained story elements that the audience will just have to accept – and IMO, those who can’t enjoy a movie if it has some plot holes, don’t have a place watching movies in the first place.

                • Not plot holes at all. What you suggest are simply the untold elements of the story, not crucial to maintaining the plot.

                  Imagine it this way, say hypothetically all of those things you mentioned had lengthy scenes that were shot but not included due to running time, as it was decided each of those scenes explaining the things you mentioned could be omitted from the story without creating a ‘plot hole’.

                  A ‘plot hole’ is an element that needs to be explained in order for us to understand the plot of the film.

                  • In short plot holes make a story illogical, where as the things you suggest simply make things less believable.

                    • Actually there are two potential plot holes of the things you mentioned @Avenger, but they are in fact explained.

                      -It was not explained how he knew about the bomb and EXACTLY to where the timer was set.

                      It is explained, the bomb is set to destruct due to the decay of the core, regardless of any timers. Wayne knows this as it was his project.

                      -It was not explained how he managed to climb up the pit and make that huge jump without the fancy leg brace that enabled him to walk.

                      He escaped the pit, like the child, by not using a lifeline (rope). Like it or not that IS the explanation. Whether it’s credible enough? well that indeed is up to you.

                  • Seriously? There is a whole chapter in Batman Begins dealing with the act of becoming ‘invisible’ (no, not literally). Batman excelled at this aspect of his training as witnessed throughout the first two films.

                    Doesn’t mean he can make a whole group of people ‘invisible’ though, and lead them out of the city. Now that WOULD be illogical.

                  • Seriously? There is a whole chapter in Batman Begins dealing with the act of becoming ‘invisible’ (no, not literally). Batman excelled at this aspect of his training surpassing most members of the league of shadows, and as witnessed throughout the first two films, employs these abilities to impressive effect. It is a matter of patience and agility.

                    Doesn’t mean he can make a whole group of people ‘invisible’ though, and lead them out of the city. Now that WOULD be illogical.

                    In order to make that scenario logical though, a quick sentence explaining that Bruce gave an impromptu ‘invisibility’ training seminar before leading the group to freedom would be all that is required.

                    That would make things logical once more, highly incredible, as i have been saying, but logical nonetheless.

                    • As far as Wayne getting back to Gotham, and the untold story, this is what I would assume.

                      Bruce emerges from the cave, walks many miles to a town, finds a phone, calls collect to a friendly past international business associate, gives them his credit card information (memorized, hell, I do it!) and asks them to arrange pick up and travel back to the states from his current location, probably from the same plane and crew that flew the Hong Kong skyhook mission in TDK if they are still available.

                      Once back in the country, Bruce goes to another major city, changes his will, recuperates and plans his attack. He Rambo’s his way back to the Palisades and Wayne manor, ninja’s his way into the Bat Cave and Bob is both our Uncles.

                  • avatar…

                    Getting ONE person in or out is relatively simple to one trained in stealth and espionage…even without immediate money or identification (This response also works for Avenger’s comment above). Getting MANY people moved around, especially if it must be done quietly, becomes exponentially more difficult, if not outright impossible.

                    Doesn’t it sadden anyone else that we are now LOOKING for flaws in films instead of simply enjoying them?

                    • well, i didn’t really have to look too hard for the ones that i mentioned above, and they kept me from enjoying the movie, and there is no need for you to try to defend the film, after all, you didn’t make it. i went, spent my money, and felt like i got taken. i really liked the 1st 2, but this one left me a bit jaded on the all mighty nolan. i will still get the BD, but only a really cheap used one

                • Avenger…

                  Sambo gave you some of what I too was thinking. As for the rest, you actually give a possible explanation for the escape from the Bat; there was no definitive showing of the passage of time for Bruce back in costume and setting up the fiery bat, so he likely would have had the time he needed; and the stock exchange scene did NOT show an abrupt change from day to night…it showed daylight (which doesn’t mean morning or even afternoon, then showed darkened skies, THEN showed nighttime. I’ve been trying to figure out WHY that particular scene frustrated and/or confused so many people…I found it perfectly logically shown.

                  I guess you simply found those particular points (apparently, among others) to be flaws, but they worked perfectly fine for me…

                  • “I guess you simply found those particular points (apparently, among others) to be flaws, but they worked perfectly fine for me…”
                    And that’s just it… people differ. We all see movies differently and interpret them differently.

                    I have no problems making up my own theories or filling spaces in stories, and I’ll rationalize stuff to death if I have to ;)… and while I definitely tried doing that with those things I mentioned, they still just kinda bug ME a little… personally.

                    • I think we’re agreed. We both loved the film but saw aspects of it differently…I’ve no problem with that.


                    • Definitely not perfect for me either, just felt a little too rushed all in all. Avengers came out on top for me this year. I think the numbers reflect things accurately.

                • for all but the last plot hole theres one simple answer. HE’S BATMAN!

        • It’s the FILM’S job to explain the film.

          If a director or writer then has to pop his head up an start explaining parts of the movie then the movie has failed in the ONLY job it has. There should never be any part of a movie an intelligent person doesn’t ‘get’.

          That’s why movies like prometheus falls on it’s arse. To know what the bloody thing is about relies too much on simple information the audience simply isn’t given and has no basis upon which it can infer.. for example, all that made up language b******* that’s supposed to mean stuff, except that we don’t bloody know what it means.

          But the problem then becomes that no one wants to admit how much in the dark a movie, or story, left then, especially if it’s being hailed as ‘a great movie’.. by the VERY SAME CRITICS that don’t have a bloody clue about what it means.. so everyone just nods their head and exclaims ‘genius’…. WELL I’M HERE TO TELL YOU…

          Prometheus sucked f**king b*lls. It’s is the worst piece of sh*t that has been released in years.

    • The dark kight rises was not disappointing, it was a great movie, if you did not like, that is your opinion which is the minority, the film has 8.7 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, a 7.8 percent on Metacritic, a 8.9 percent on IMDB, 160 million on opening weekend and 1,011,011,261 million dollars and counting on the box office, so do not say that Nolan is a hack, (look what the word means in the dictionary first) and do not say that the film is a disappointment like it is a fact.

      • The ever so cheesy bomb countdown ending..Bane killed by Catwoman…Alfred being a whiny b**** for most of the film….Joseph’s cop character acting as an annoying filler for most of the film…Miranda + Bruce love triangle….Banes voice still being hard to understand for most of the film due to lazy sound editing…The list goes on, you think Nolan could have brought something new to cinema but he didn’t. It was all one whole wreckage and the rubble was what was left they pieced together as the final product.

        • @jersey im not arguing with you cause i think the dark knight rises is a flawless film, cause it is not. Im arguing cause the dark knight rises has been the only film this year to get constant crap for its flaws. When EVERY movie this year has had them to the same extent. I understand that the sheer entertainment level the avengers offered would cause you to forget its flaws or miss them completely but they are their. *Trust me i saw it 4 times* I do think that a director shouldnt have to show us everything to come to a conclusion. Its a simple way to make sure your audience is invested in the movie and adds their own little touches. A big one for me is how Bruce got back to gothem with No I.d or money. I could get mad all day that the director didnt spend 10 minutes showing us. But why should he have to? we know from batman begins that bruce has done this before in Batman Begins, that is all we need to know. Along with how did he get inside a contained city? i think most of us know that wayne maynor is outside of the city. YOur telling me he doesnt have supplies stashed their? just a thought. Now the story of the dark knight was very clunky. but the acting, cinematography and dialouge was very good. Calling Alfred a whiny b**** most of the time proves to me you hated this film just to hate it. Alfred and Bruce have a long standing relationship and he is sad cause he knows the outcome of this battle. IT IS CALLED DRAMA, and its a central part of Nolan’s batman movies. Im not gonna take the time to rebuttle all your arguments. I just merely wish that you and others would recognize all movies have flaws, and though batman had them it is still at the minimum a good film.

          • By any means i wasnt saying that the avengers deserves more crap. It offered people everything it needed to and was a highly entertaining film. One i play to buy as soon as it comes out. I just feel prometheus, the avengers and every movie we have seen this year has been flawed and overlooked.

        • English isn’t even my native language and I had not problems whatsover understanding Bane. The real problem was that his voice sounded ridiculous. All those weird intonations in conjunction with the bad Sean Connery impression made him really hard to take serious. That performance ruined the character for me.

          • THANK you…exactly.

        • Jersey…

          Your dislikes sound more like you simply did not enjoy the film, which is fine. I DID understand, appreciate, and enjoy the things you mentioned, so I disagree and thought it was a fantastic film. C’est la vie…

    • With all the movies that disappointed this summer, you pick TDKR as the reason the summer didn’t live up to expectations? News flash, the movie made over a billion dollars. TDKR and Avengers are the reasons the summer wasn’t a complete waste. Did TDKR have flaws? Of course, but so did Avengers.

      • DRAT! That should have gone to the first poster. Sorry.

        • Wait a second, it did go to the first poster! I’d blame this on it being Monday, but… 😛

          • lol, Kahless.

      • Agreed, TDKR and the Avengers are two of the best movies all time (in my own opinion).

        • ^THIS

    • i thought the dark knight had plot holes at first but it wasn’t the movie perse. it was the fact that it was so long and i had to go the lobby a few times. lets face it this wasn2’t the kind of movie you can get away with not paying close attention to. on repeat viewings most of my problems were eliminated.

      secondly the reason for the low box office had a lot to do with the summer olympics and the colorado movie shooter. i know some people who stayed away from the theater because they thought that the crowd would be a bunch of hun tottng maniacs.

      thirdly the economy and jobs. people simply can’t afford these high prices any more. going to the theater is expensive. not just the price of admission but if you add a girlfriend/wife and or a daughter pluse refreshments that’s an easy 30-40 bucks. some people don’t have a problem with that price tag but it really is expensive.

      • the last time i went to the theater on an opening weekend, we (wife, 3 kids, myself) spent $75 on tickets, soda, and food, and that was when The Incredibles came out, waaay back in 2004. i now go on tuesday’s. 2d= $5, imax= $9, and imax 3d= $11, and no food.

    • So what your saying is that ONE movie ruined an entire year? I feel like Avengers and TDKR made some serious cash! but “to each his own”

  2. TDKR was a great movie.

    Anyway, I honestly think it’s the rising cost of 3D tickets, a few movies being released in a short period of time that were highly anticipated and some other factors that I can’t even think of right now.

    I’m not American but I do know that I went to more movies this summer than I usually do in a two year period and that killed my spending since I skipped others I wanted to see purely to have enough to watch TDKR and more.

    That’s not to mention I still have yet to see Ted and The Expendables 2 plus Dredd released this friday.

  3. Hummmmm…I woulda’ thought ticket sales would be high this year.

  4. Even though I anticipated the releases of 2012 more, I actually went to see more movies last summer.

    Sure stuff like Avengers and Dark Knight were great, but there were a lot of films that I just had no interest in. All I had to do was look at the trailers for things like Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter and Total Recall to know they weren’t worth the trip to the theater.

    Hopefully the disappointing box office numbers are a wake up call to Hollywood and we can get better movies in future years.

    • I could not agree more.

  5. With rising ticket prices- due to 3D, IMAX 3D, digital and real IMAX- and many potential blockbusters, I think the regular/frequent moviegoer had to make some serious budgeting plan for this summer/year in general. That combine it with reviews being less than stellar for some of the films or just being overshadowed by competition its easy how some will evaluate how the spend their time and money. Again the two biggest blockbusters – The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises- recieved not only the ratings but the revenue that on the side made 2012 a profitable year overall. These films and others garnered many repeating viewings as they deserved while others may have not had the same effect on viewers.

    On a side note, I wonder if the shooting had any affect on going to the movies in general (and not just on TDKR). I know some people who avoided the theaters entirely. I am sure it may have not had a huge effect, if any, but it could be considered, maybe.

    • It’s entirely possible that the tragedy in Colorado affected box office, but examining that issue in terms of dollars and cents just seemed in poor taste.

    • SR or some companies should do an analysis on the sells and estimates before and after the Aurora incident…it’s clearly the reason that changed the summer box office, like it or not, and analysing if the quality of this year’s films caused the ticket sale decline is pretty much avoiding the heart of the question, unfortunately

      • I agree with Anthony.
        While the shooting definitely affected the box office in some ways (in the US), I don’t think it’s morally right to “analyze” an incident that resulted in the deaths of human beings and the trauma and injuries of even more people, just for the sake of knowing how much MONEY was lost… It’s in poor taste and quite frankly, disrespectful IMO.

        • Practicality often is. Be glad you aren’t the WB studio exec who had to commission and analyze the full report i’d say.

          Is this the time or the place for talking of such things? Well, i’m not touching that one with a fifty-foot pole. But if it offends, we should offer restraint, I would agree.

    • That’s true. In the past it was like “Wanna go to the movies?” – “Sure, let me grab my jacket”.

      Now it’s like “Wanna go to the movies?” – “I don’t know, let me quickly run the numbers. Hm…. nah, sorry. Maybe next month.”.

    • oh absolutely the colorado shooting did have an impact on that box office. i was orignially thinking it would make 190-220 opening weekend box office instead it made somewhere around 150-170. i was expecting a big opening weekend. heck the hunger games had a bigger opening weekend than DKR. everyone was waiting for this movie for like 3 years. those numbers should have been much higher.

      • The Dark Knight Rises’s opening weekend is third behind Harry Potter 7.2 and Avengers (both of which had 3D ). I think it did very well regardless.

  6. It was because of Piracy! It had nothing to do with garbage films or overly inflated ticket prices…

    …just ask any studio executive.

    • Nah, it was because movies were being made available on demand at the same time as they were in cinemas.

      Let’s see, what other excuse do we want to give studio execs?

    • A lot about cell phones and texting that killed the Cinema experience.

      • @Mikey: thats a good point. I cant remember the last time I wasnt disturbed by a ringing phone or those bright lights coming on when people are texting. It does ruin the experience.

    • Rad, you are so far off I cant even see you. You must be a studio exec to think like this.

  7. Next summer will probably be worse because outside of iron man 3,mos,and star trek 2, there really isn’t another summer flick worth seeing. At least not one where your saying 2 yourself “I gotta go see that “type of deal.

    I guess its a wait and see approach for Pacific rim, but I’m still not convinced about that robo cop reboot though.

    • Next year Will be a poor year well worse than this year.

  8. TDKR and Avengers kicked ass, I’m glad they di dwell. Spiderman was okay. Nothing else was really great. Skyfall and Hobbit are the only films that seem worth it.

  9. The simple truth of the matter is – the movies that Hollywood are churning out each and every year are unlike the predecessors of the 90’s and early 2000
    s. These days it’s a reboot here, or a remake, or re imagination. Point is that I’m slowly and painfully trying to make here is this: Hollywood is releasing nothing but crap. Now that’s not to say there’s the odd blockbuster here and there. Or one that we want to see win awards at Oscar time. The problem lays in the content. The other lays in the gimmick. What do I mean by gimmick? Well at my theater’s here at home (Canada), we have what’s called Ultra AVX. For an additional $4 (19.95 after taxes) you can sit in a relatively comfortable chair, watch your movie on slightly bigger screen, and enjoy the latest 7.1 DD. Now, imagine taking a family of say 4 to something like this. Add in concessions and you have yourself a portion of your mortgage payment for the month.

    Back when it cost $9 on a regular night and 4.50 on a Tuesday movie going wasn’t so bad. Sure you had (censored) seats, and a old raggedy screen. The projection was old skool and the picture you really didn’t care much about. You were there for the movie. Concessions were not too bad either. The cooler thing too was, those 12AM shows that were played for the BIG releases. Of course today, it’s overly priced on everything. You’re better off finding a drive in and enjoying a cheaper night out that way.

    If Hollywood continues to swamp us with crap (and the odd blockbuster) movie going is going to become a very seldom thing for many.

    • another good point.

      Movies don’t ALL have to be blockbusters to be worth the ticket investment but they at the very least need to be good. So when the vast majority of remakes/reboots don’t end up even equaling the original movie’s success (along with Hollywood spending more money on just bad movies) that means less people willing to fork over money to see sub par work.

      So quality over quantity is the name of the game (and that goes for original ideas and not leeching off of old brand recognition)

    • ah the good ole days. i know what your saying. these remakes just aren’t doing it. the age of creativity was the 20’s-90’s this is the retread era and it will last a long time because some young people don’t have a problem with it.

  10. It’s the combination of two things….

    1) Rising ticket prices to market arguably gimmicky things like 3D, IMAX and now the upcoming HFR.
    2) The continuing recession.

    I don’t care what the government keeps saying, we are not “recovering” and are on the brink of plunging into a deeper recession. This means tightening the belt and not going to see a new movie every weekend. So many of us only saw the blockbusters because that’s all we could afford (especially if we wanted to see them in 3D and/or IMAX) and any other movie we were willing to wait for the DVD to rent cheaply.

    I do also agree that the close gap between a movie’s release and DVD release is also a contributing factor (as you can see by my comment above). I remember that it used to take literally YEARS before a movie was available on VHS but Hollywood, in their infinite “wisdom”, has cut that time to a scant 3 months which is sometimes barely enough time for it to leave the theaters. I admit I might go see a few more iffy movies in theaters if it means waiting 6+ months to see them cheaply.

    So if Hollywood wants more people to pay those ticket prices they need to stop figuring out ways to increase them and increase the DVD release lag. I can only assume though that the reason for such a brief wait time is DVD sales are more lucrative than trying to get that last 20% to go to theaters and the near instant continued financial intake instead of waiting to make their DVD money later.

    • … and just to add to your (excellent) points if I may:
      The PEOPLE who go see movies also influence other potential movie-goers.

      -The inconsiderate jerks who talk during movies.
      -People who want to get up every 10 minutes to go to the bathroom or buy more snacks.
      -People who use their phones.
      -Some of my generation who’re just messing around and trying to be funny (for instance: almost every time I’ve been to the cinema this year, there’s always been a group of kids constantly yelling, cheering and laughing in an obviously sarcastic manner – they are there simply to make noise because of their demand for constant attention)
      -People who take their kids to movies (movies that are clearly not suited for them), which results in the kids starting to cry when something scary/distressing happens.
      -People who take their babies to movies.

      … you know, just plain ol’ @-holes doing what they do best – those types of people are also causing more and more movie-goers to rather spend their time in the peace and quiet of their own homes.

      • And then of course, there’s the fact that some people don’t want to see reboots/remakes/re-imaginings.

        … and piracy also plays a part (although IMO, piracy is no one’s fault but the studios/distributors. If the studios start to focus on the needs and wants of their clients/buyers/movie-watchers, I’m certain that the piracy industry will decline rapidly)

  11. I know the people in Hollywood literally live in some pocket dimension somewhere, but the fact is there is still a recession going on. People are either not making any money, or considerably less than before, so movies have become a luxury for many. Add to that the fact that they have raised the price of tickets, which only get higher when they add all the bells and whistles they try to sell, and you have a diminishing customers base.

    Then there is the fact that the movies are just not enticing enough to get people to spend gas money to travel to the theater and spend more money they might not have. So for every Avengers and Batman that draw in a ton of customers, there are going to be a load of movies who people will just wait to see on cable or DVD.

  12. my god hollywood didn’t make a bazzillion dollars so the world is gonna end ohh god the agony 😛

    who cares about numbers or sales, if you liked the movie you liked it and that’s all that matters, people wasting time with stats are doing just that, the only ones that should care are producers who have to think of something else to ruin for everyone in the years to come 😉

  13. Maybe the studios should stop focusing so much on the summer season and spread out their blockbusters throughout the year so that they don’t choke each other. Just see what WB did with the last Hobbit movie: they set its release date on the same date as the new X-Men. And why exactly? June, July and August 2014 are entirely free except for this one date. Their determination to ruin competition will ruin them too in the end.

    Also, more original ideas a la Inception or Looper would be nice. Do we really need so many reboots and remakes?

  14. a lot of these movies had a target audience that is use to being burned. Battleship, Brave, Spiderman, and MIB3 are all coming off disappointing movies (Transformers 3, Cars 2, Spiderman 3, MIB2) so regartless of how good they are, more people are hesitant to see it.

    other films such as Rock of Ages and Prometheus have a fan following but are too distant from what people expect that not alot went to those either.

    Aside from Avengers and Dark Knight, the successful movies were the ones that seemed original and less demanding from the audience like Ted and Magic Mike.

    Then you just have the bad movies that always skew the numbers like Total Recall, Dark Shadow, and The Watch.

    i am surprised that this is the lowest year in a long time, especially with Avengers and Batman, but it seems your talking about 4%-5% sub par ticket sales and the second highest summer in terms of money, i dont think hollywood should start worrying summer season and keep moving forward.

    Next summer has Pacific Rim, Man of Steel, Star Trek which are all run in the way of “Avengers” and “DKR” in that its mostly director run and not studio tentpole, so that should be a boost. Plus movies like Monsters University, Kick-Ass 2, Iron Man 3 all have positive buzz. AND a few movies that sound really cool but dont have the support yet like After Earth, World War z, and Lone Ranger, could all do very well.

    I expect next summer to actually be bigger than 2012 (though nothing individually bigger than Avengers or DKR)

    • I know the article might make it sound as if Hollywood is hurting but the reality is, they are doing just fine. The quick turn around DVD/Blu-Ray sales are netting studios more than those ticket sales ever made.

      • ^^^
        Mongoose I think you’re right about this and also—who cares how many tickets they sold if the money they made is stellar.

        If you look at the bottom line, they did great.

        Not sure what the big deal is.

  15. No surprise there. If they only knew how many movies I skipped in the theater this year, because they were only available in 3D. I rather wait for the Blu-ray than being forced to pay a premium for something that I do not want. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who handled it like that.

    • No, you are not. I think many share your opinion.

      • They always screen both versions here. Only screening in 3D, that sounds like a real scam! They introduce that here (Australia) and I will definitely be keeping my money.

  16. The revenue model for film has been changing ever since they started being available for home viewing. Once VHS became widely available in homes, studios lost the ability to really how many people watched a movie. Before you could count tickets sold as a measure. Revenue is a bit pointless due to having to account for inflation but tickets sold is tickets sold. It’s a butt in the seat. A videotape or DVD rented or bought can be seen multiple times by multiple people. How can a studio in any way quantify that? Rental stores are almost a thing of the past, but the stores kept the profits for themselves. They weren’t revenue streams for the studios, so even then the studios didn’t know how many times a movie was rented, except if the rental company had an arrangement to report such numbers.
    I suppose they can now track purchases from on-demand or Internet streaming sources. Piracy is obviously still a major concern. I wonder if studios are now willing to trade tickets sold for more profit per seat in the form of 3D, IMAX, or other higher quality formats. Obviously prices for normal seats have risen steadily over the years but eventually the studios and cinema operators will not be able to justify the constant increase. Perhaps they have already hit that tipping point.

  17. This doesn’t surprise me at all. Tickets and food are too high at movie theaters. Also, movies just aren’t as good (over all) as they used to be. I think way too many movies are released these days and that affects the quality of many, many films. There are too many hands in the cookie jar so to speak. And with every movie goer being able to give their opinion on the internet, we now have a way to see if a movie is worth the price of admission.
    As a teen and young adult I used to see a movie every friday night and I do not remember ever being that dissappointed when leaving the theater. I saw 3 movies this summer. There was nothing else worth the money.

    Quality is better than quantity in this case.

  18. I blame Battleship which is a perfect example of an attempt to make money out of something stupid. I knew it would suck before it came out. People blaming TDKR is stupid no offense to you. Even if you dont like the movie it was still one of the biggest sources of money. The way I see it we had 3 strong movies. Avengers, Spiderman, and TDKR. They each made a pretty penny but there was to many movies this summer that didnt make money

  19. Complaining about The Dark Knight Rises is really not appropriate for this issue. What they are saying is that the movies that were going to be big hits did indeed perform as expected. But the movies that were in the middle of the pack performed far worse. So it means that the box office was top heavy. A few big winners and a whole lot of crap.

  20. I’ve posted several times over the Summer that the 2012 Summer season at the Movies was off and by a lot and these numbers back up that claim.

    I knew it felt like this Summer was more then just off. The real question is what happened? The Answer? The economy. Its not in the great recovery train that the mainstream media has tried to convince us of. Art imitates life and life is caling back and scaling down as the US dollar is destroyed by the money printing actions of the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank called “Qunatitative easing”. Thats latin for “its Time to impoverish the slaves”. Those thieves in expesnive suits have been quetly stealing the wealth of this country thru the destruction of the US dollar which has lost over the lasst 50 years a bulk of its buying power.

    Now-a-days price hikes at the box office are a yearly thing and we just accept it as the norm because humans are great at adapting. Just know that as those professional crooks start up Quantitative Easing #3, your dollar is quickly loosing its ability to by something. Thats what 100 years of Service by the privately owned bank “THE FEDERAL RESERVE” has done for AMerica; robbed us blind.

  21. Unfortunately, Aurora is a, if not the, key factor when you evaluate its impact on THE DARK KNIGHT RISES:
    PART I

    Industry Experts on Opening Weekend Estimates & Actual Ticket Presales and Tracking
    Prior to Aurora Shooting:

    Hollywood Reporter, July 9, 2012
    “Hollywood was abuzz Monday over the strength of tracking for Warner Bros.’ The Dark Knight Rises, which hits theaters in two weeks on July 20.

    Overall tracking numbers for Dark Knight Rises aren’t that far behind Avengers, but the Christian Bale starrer won’t enjoy the boost from the upcharge for a 3D ticket. To boot, Dark Knight Rises runs 164 minutes — 21 more than Avengers and 12 more than Dark Knight.

    Dark Knight Rises has plenty going in its favor. In addition to being the last installment in Nolan’s wildly successful Batman trilogy, it should be big draw in several hundred Imax theaters, which charge a premium (Nolan shot more than an hour of the film with Imax cameras).

    With The Amazing Spider-Man in theaters, tracking for Dark Knight Rises surged over the weekend. According to those who have seen Monday’s tracking numbers, unaided awareness for Dark Knight Rises is 19, compared with 20 for The Avengers. First choice is 30 for Dark Knight Rises, versus 33 for The Avengers. Definite interest in Dark Knight Rises is 66, compared with 65 for Avengers.

    Females are slightly less interested in seeing Dark Knight Rises than The Avengers, though Warners marketing operation has two weeks to further woo this demo.”

    Indiewire.com, July 20, 2012
    Original Industry Observers/Box Office Analysts Projections for “The Dark Knight Rises” Opening Weekend Gross Prior to Aurora Shooting: $190,000,000 – $207,400,000 +
    “A solid chance of topping the $207,400,000 all-time record of ‘The Avengers.’”
    Eventual Opening Weekend Gross following Aurora and Media Coverage labeling it ‘Batman Shooting Massacre’: $160,887,295

    Time Magazine, July 19, 2012
    ‘Dark Knight’ Ticket Sales: $25 Million and Counting—Before the Movie Hits Theaters

    It’s hard to overestimate the degree to which fans have been anticipating the arrival in theaters of the new Christopher Nolan-Christian Bale Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises.”
    Tickets to some of the first showings, at midnight on Thursday evening, sold out more than six months in advance.

    Seats for opening night are being offered for upwards of $175 on eBay (popcorn and soda not included), and as of Wednesday, some $25 million worth of advance tickets had been already sold.

    The Hollywood Reporter predicts that this weekend “The Dark Knight Rises” will net the highest-ever domestic debut for sales for a 2-D film—a title currently held by its predecessor, “The Dark Knight.” The forecast is based on phenomenally strong advance sales, with $25 million worth of tickets selling before the movie actually hit theaters.

    The odds against “Dark Knight Rises” having the biggest overall opening are strong because it’s not a 3-D film, and therefore Batman & Co.’s gross sales won’t benefit by the $5 or so surcharge added on for many 3-D movies. “The Avengers” recently scored the biggest three-day opening ever at the box office with $207.4 million in sales, some $35 million of which is estimated to come as a result of the 3-D surcharge.

    “Dark Knight Rises” is expected to debut in the $185 million to $195 million range for the weekend, though some of the sales will be due to an upcharge for seeing the film on an IMAX screen. (The movie is opening on a largest-ever 330 IMAX screens in the U.S.)

    While some “Dark Knight Rises” showings went on sale months ago, most theaters made tickets available only in recent weeks. According to the Detroit News, the midnight showing at the IMAX Theatre at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn sold out in just 27 minutes after tickets went on sale on June 11. “It usually takes several days to sell out a midnight show,” said the museum’s director of guest services.

    Another showing, at the ungodly hour of 3:15 a.m., is already half sold out at the IMAX location. When the movie’s over, viewers should be able to leave theaters just in time for breakfast. Overall, the movie house had sold 4,200 advance tickets to the film, more than double it has ever sold.

    The excitement over the “Dark Knight” has inspired quite a black market as well. Tickets for midnight showings in New York City have been listed at Craigslist for $100 a pop for months, and SmartMoney reports that sellers in locations ranging from Los Angeles to Council Bluffs, Iowa, are asking $125 to $150 per ticket. At last check, at least one entrepreneurial type is offering a midnight ticket in New York at the “Buy It Now” price of $175 on eBay ($20 additional for shipping).

    For the record, the retail price for a ticket should be under $20, even for an IMAX showing.

    Fandango Advance Ticket Sales Report, Thursday, July 19, 2012:
    “The Dark Knight Rises” was outpacing “The Avengers” at the same point in the
    sales cycle.
    More than 2,000 showtimes nationwide were sold out.
    “The Dark Knight Rises” was accounting for more than 91% of Daily Sales
    “The Dark Knight Rises” was on track to becoming one of Fandango’s top selling
    movies of all time.

    Midnight Screenings –Aurora Shooting Yet to Occur
    $30,600,000, 2nd Highest in History

    • @TedSpellman – We get it. You’re more concerned in how much money a movie that has grossed $1 BILLION dollars worldwide lost, more than you are concerned with the tragic deaths of innocent moviegoers.

      Stop spamming our comment section with HUGE updates on numbers or I’ll just remove them all.


      Paul Young – Moderator

      • I’m shocked when the topic of an article is the Summer of 2012’s lower Box Office Revenue, and the unforeseen shocking drop in aggregate ticket sales, that when a fan of your site addresses one of the KEY reasons, you reduce it to being a commentary solely about money, ‘spamming our comment section with HUGE updates on numbers,’ and threaten to remove the statistical comments.

        The Aurora Shootings had nothing to do with TDKR. It was a horrific tragedy of evil. My wife and I made a personal donation to GivingFirst.org days after the tragedy. I dreaded seeing TDKR the Saturday after the shootings. I went for my friends that we had tickets with. What I discovered was a film about redemption and self-sacrifice. When shooting survivors strong enough to attend the first court date for the murderer, many showed up in Batman t-shirts. Reporters were surprised to hear many had seen the film, loved it, and like their hero, were quoted as saying THEY would ‘Rise’ above this evil.

        It would be INSANE to BLAME Aurora for TDKR US Box Office underperformance, and the overall summer 2012 drop in ticket sales. That’s not what I did. I stated “(It) is a, if not the, key factor when you evaluate its impact on TDKR (domestic box office performance).” A tragedy can have an economic effect on an industry and bare NO MORAL BLAME. US farmers suffered ‘Acts of God’ in heat waves that drove up food prices now and for the year to come. TDKR and Hollywood suffered an ‘Act of Evil and Inconceivable Cruelty’ that affected media coverage of TDKR, safety in movies, and made many US audiences afraid of seeing TDKR in theaters. Facing the statistical economic results of tragedies may be hard, but its better than trying to ignore it because we think it’s morally wrong or insensitive.

        And, I respect your site too much to spam it with any feedback I didn’t think contributed to a forum. I apologize. It was not my intent.

        • I for one appreciated the info Ted, not something I would have otherwise sought out. Perhaps a link might be best next time?

          • Sambo – Thanks for the note and – yes – I wish I could have used links. Unfortunately, the info came from a report I was commissioned to write for a third party. Nonetheless, given the moderator’s policy, next time if a topic such as this comes up, if I can’t use links to cover statistics, I’ll avoid covering complex ground. Thanks for the ‘link’ idea – it helps me know how to better participate with Screenrant fans.

            • Yeah, links seem to be ok. I think I have had one or two removed in the past though, wasn’t too sure why, but I think it was because they were links to other ‘competitor’ sites, so-to-speak.

  22. Aurora Effect on THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, Part II
    Approximately 12:39AM, Aurora Shooting Occurs. CNN and FOX, major and independent Internet News Outlets, start 24 hour coverage by 1:00am. CNN London and their correspondent first to use term ‘Batman Shooting Massacre.’ Term is quickly adopted in TV, Internet and print coverage throughout film’s opening weekend and first 2 weeks in theaters.

    Day Less Midnight: (Post Shooting) $45,154,987
    Total Opening Day: $75,754,897
    “The Dark Knight” (2008 Dollars) – Midnight Gross: $18,500,000
    Day Less Midnight: $48,665,092
    Total Opening Day: $67,165,092

    “The Avengers: – Midnight Gross: $18,700,000
    Day Less Midnight: $62,113,985
    Total Opening Day: $80,813,985

  23. Aurora Effect on THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, Part III
    Friday, July 20, 2012, Major networks and cable stations notify Warner Bros. that advertisements for the film will be pulled. WB immediately approves. All subsequent ‘ad pull’ requests approved. WB pre-emptively cancels further TV ad spots. All Internet advertising taken down from all sites. WB cancels all further global premieres, including Japan, Paris and Mexico. By mid-weekend, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ has virtually no advertising presence on television, the Internet, theaters or radio. Continues for opening week.

    ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Opening Weekend Daily % Gross Drops Following Aurora
    Source of Gross Info – Box Office Mojo
    Friday, July 20, 2012 – Opening Day Gross: $75,754,987
    Saturday, July 21, 2012 – 2nd Day Gross: $44,931,966 – 40.7% Drop from Friday Gross
    Sunday, July 22, 2012 – 2nd Day Gross: $40, 200,432 – 10% Drop from Saturday’s Gross
    (50.7% Sunday Drop from Friday’s Gross)
    First Weekend Gross: $160,887,295

  24. Aurora Effect on THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, Part IV
    AVENGERS, THE DARK KNIGHT and BATMAN BEGINS First weekend Grosses and Daily % Gross Changes:

    “Batman Begins” – Opened Wednesday 15, June 2005
    Friday, June 17, 2005 Gross – $15,072,242: +64.9% (NA)
    Saturday, June 18, 2005 Gross – $18,017,047: +19.5% Increase from Friday Gross
    Sunday, June 19, 2005 Gross – $15,656,151L -13.1% Decrease from Saturday Gross
    (+06.4 Sunday Increase from Friday’s Gross)

    “The Dark Knight” – Opened Friday, July 18, 2008
    Friday, July 18, 2008 Gross – $67,165,092
    Saturday, July 19, 2008 Gross – $47,650,240 -29.1% Drop from Friday’s Gross
    Sunday, July 20, 2008 Gross – $43,596,151 -08.5% Drop from Saturday’s Gross
    (-37.6% Sunday Drop from Friday’s Gross)

    “The Avengers” – Opened May 4, 2012
    Friday, May 4, 2012 Gross – $80,813,985
    Saturday, May 5, 2012 Gross – $69,557,990 -13.9% Drop from Friday’s Gross
    Sunday, May 6, 2012 Gross – $57,066,733 -18% Drop from Saturday’s Gross
    (-31.9% Sunday Drop from Friday’s Gross)

  25. Aurora Effect on THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, Part V
    2nd Weekend Gross Decrease Following Aurora
    “The Dark Knight Rises” Gross Income Week 1: $160,887,295
    “The Dark Knight Rises” Gross Income Week 2: $62,101,451
    Second Weekend Gross Change: – 61.4%

    “Batman Begins” Second Weekend Gross Change: – 42.7%
    “The Dark Knight” Second Weekend Gross Change: – 52.5%
    “The Avengers” Second Weekend Gross Change: – 50.3%

  26. Aurora Effect on THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, Part VI
    2nd Weekend Daily Gross Decreases Following Aurora
    Friday, July 27, 2012 – 2nd Weekend Friday Gross: $17,734,545 – 76.6% Drop from Opening Friday
    Saturday, July 28, 2012 – 2nd Weekend Saturday Gross: $24,712,417 – 45% Drop from Opening Saturday
    Sunday, July 29, 2012 – 2nd Weekend Sunday Gross: $19,654,489 – 51.1% Drop from Opening Sunday
    “The Dark Knight Rises” Second Friday Gross Change: – 76.6%
    “Batman Begins” Second Friday Gross Change: – 45.1%
    “The Dark Knight” Second Friday Gross Change: – 65.4%
    “The Avengers” Second Friday Gross Change: – 63.8%

  27. Aurora Effect on THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, Part VII
    2nd Weekend Daily Gross Decreases Following Aurora – Completion of Comparisoins
    “The Dark Knight Rises” Second Saturday Gross Change: – 45%
    “Batman Begins” Second Saturday Gross Change: – 40.8%
    “The Dark Knight” Second Saturday Gross Change: – 40.7%
    “The Avengers” Second Saturday Gross Change: – 38.3%

    “The Dark Knight Rises” Second Sunday Gross Change: – 51.1%
    “Batman Begins” Second Sunday Gross Change: – 44.7%
    “The Dark Knight” Second Sunday Gross Change: – 47.5%
    “The Avengers” Second Sunday Gross Change: – 45.8%

  28. Aurora Effect on THE DARK KNIGHT RISES Part VIII – Domestic Box Office Loss
    THE DARK KNIGHT – Domestic $533,345,358 (53.2%) + Foreign $469,700,000 (46.8%) = $1,003,045,358
    – Domestic $433,814,754 (42.9%) + Foreign $577,700,000 (57.1%) = $1,011,514,574
    Audience exit poles and on-line ratings demonstrate a matching HIGH ranking domestically and abroad. The film has just opened in key territories such as China and Italy. The discrepancy between foreign and domestic grosses for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is more drastic than that of THE DARK KNIGHT. In addition, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES has a longer running time than THE DARK KNIGHT, less action, and relies more on dialogue-hard on non-English audiences. The data pre and post Aurora reflect WB lost a minimum of $100,000,000 in US grosses. Also, post Aurora is when US Box Office across the board eroded this summer.

  29. I just resigned myself to only seeing the big tent poles this year, not even Spiderman or Prometheus could drag me to the theatre.

    In my mind only three films even came out this year. Avengers, TDKR, and The Hobbit. That’s enough for me. TV has gotten too damned good. The rest can wait.