The Dark Knight: Are Box Office Expectations Too High?

Published 6 years ago by , Updated July 24th, 2008 at 1:10 pm,

the dark knight The Dark Knight: Are Box Office Expectations Too High?

Earlier this morning, I was talking about how fans online were nerdgasming over the release of The Incredible Hulk last week.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the phrase, “nerdgasming” is being insanely pumped about the release of something (i.e. usually a movie but it also applies to video games, television shows, etc.) to the point of “knowing” it’s going to be a blockbuster-level smash because of your excitement level and the fact that the Internet is talking about it non-stop.

And a lot of times, it doesn’t happen. Sure, sometimes the item in question does well – but nowhere near our own expectations and we find ourselves asking: “What happened?” That certainly applied this past weekend when the Hulk reboot pulled in a solid $55 million despite claims by many that it would churn out anywhere between $60 to $100 million(!) That was never. Gonna. Happen, folks.

Now if there’s any film thats going to top the 3-day $100 million opening weekend of Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull this year, it’ll be the much-hyped Batman Begins sequel The Dark Knight.

But the question is… will it? Personally, I don’t think so and I shall explain why.

When Iron Man debuted last month with those 8:00 P.M. screenings, I decided to take two very good friends of mine (a young couple) and their little boys – aged 2 and 3 to see the film. As we left the theatre, we discussed the next “event film” we had to see at the very first screening and it was without a doubt going to be The Dark Knight. When I asked, “Should we take the boys with us?” all three of us thought about it for about a second and quickly said, “No.”

Just looking at the trailers (as great as they have been), it’s clear that this is going to be a much darker film than Batman Begins. Of course there are rumors saying the film actually pushes the limits of the PG-13 rating with its material. And I don’t think my friends and I are the only ones concerned about putting this in front of small children too young to comprehend the subject matter of said film.

There’s also the issue of The Dark Knight‘s running length – reportedly at 150 minutes. One wonders if the studios will supply diapers for the audience so they can make it through the whole thing without a bathroom break. Although to be fair, both Pirates of the Caribbean sequels (as awful as they were) chugged out $100 million+ opening weekends and they were around that length – so that probably won’t be a factor.

Don’t get me wrong, ladies and germs. The Dark Knight is going to make a lot of money – easily more than the $205 million gross of Batman Begins. And it will have a huge opening weekend. My guess is the film will gross around $75 to $80 million in its 3-day opening weekend. As for its total domestic box office, I think at the moment we’re looking at a solid $240 to $250 million.

But will it reach anywhere near the $300 million mark that Iron Man has reached and Indy IV is closing in on? That remains to be seen. Let’s just not have a nerdgasm over it…

The Dark Knight opens on July 18th

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TAGS: batman begins, Indiana Jones, iron man, the dark knight

138 Comments - Comments are closed.

  1. 160 1st weekend
    70 2nd weekend
    42 3rd weekend
    25 4th weekend
    15 5th weekend
    10 6th weekend
    6 7th weekend with a final domestic box office tally of

    450-460 million dollars whuuu-ha-ha-ha!!!

  2. Wow…just got back from seeing the movie and thats all I can say right now is WOW. What an incredible film!

    So back to the box office stuff, 66.4 million first day is what is being thrown around right now and while the next two days will see nice sizable declines of course it’s still looking like $150 million is very possible…but still think 120-130 mill is a safer bet.

    I went to an 11am show which was about 80% full but when I bought the tickets this morning all the 5pm and beyond shows were already sold out in advance…at 9:10am!!! HUGE is about the best way to sum it up right now.

    Can’t wait till I’m in Vegas next week so I can see it in IMAX at the Palms…sure I’ll more than likely see it at least once in between as well, lol.

  3. IMAX showings are sold out this weekend in my area.

  4. @ greenknight333
    160 1st weekend
    70 2nd weekend
    42 3rd weekend
    25 4th weekend
    15 5th weekend
    10 6th weekend
    6 7th weekend with a final domestic box office tally of
    450-460 million dollars whuuu-ha-ha-ha!!!

    All that only comes out to $318M. How did you get to $450? Even when it makes money after the 7th week it wont be another $120M.

  5. Well, looks like the author was totally incorrect.

    @Vic Holtreman

    What’s the point of predicting B.O. numbers at all then, when by your own admission, you don’t really know what you’re talking about? I’ll tell you why anyone does it: To get fanboy bragging rights at predicting failure.

    It’s symptomatic of the whole ‘Have a movie website = expert on movies’ phenomena that’s plaguing the ought’s pretty heavily.

    Articles like this, make your site just another misinformed, off the mark, uneducated fanboy site.

    And btw, I came here because Jaimie was plugging this article on CHUD, I can only assume to brag about his correctness had TDK performed below par.

    Not writing when you don’t you don’t know your subject matter: something to think about. Seriously.

  6. @brosef

    Holy s**** Dude!! It’s called an opinion…Don’t be a misinformed misanthrope who mitigates masochistic morals and marginally makes this medium a moronic display of your ignorance. You’re like all the other fanboys who come to this site and try to start immature arguements because you disagree with someone’s opinion..I have a mathmatics degree, a health sciences degree and I read four – five books a month(so I am well read)… not fiction BS either..I read books about things that I want to get more informed about. Your comment of “make your site just another misinformed, off the mark, uneducated fanboy site” was way off the mark. This is one of the few… and I mean few places…where we are allowed to have adult opinions on things without having to resort to your “high School” antics..Really, I mean, grow-up ‘Bro” and state your case in a more polite and educated manner…Now go lie in the corner by your dish until your master beckons you…GOOD BOY!!! ;)

  7. Sahill…Weekday numbers dude which usually account for another third of weekend BO receipts…

  8. ;)

  9. brosef, I think your a…………………….(Spam Filter Mark.V 7.3) has altered your comment 790 !……………………Poopy face!

  10. @brosef I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The above article was speculative opinion, not the @$@%ing word of God – got it?

    Now unless you have biblical-level prophetic powers, I’d advice you to stop throwing stones.

    I was just being forthright in my comment above and I’m big enough to admit when I or one of my writers is wrong. But if you feel the need to be disrespectful – by all means if it makes you feel like a bigger man.

    Vic

  11. @ brosef, I want to be on your film website which so accurately predicted “The Dark Knight’s” weekend take. It’s clearly so much better than here. I know you must be a great insider. You must have been one of those astute suits that is responsible for all those commercials aimed at kids under 13 I’m seeing on TV that pumped up TDK’s numbers.
    Insiders like that sicken me!

    Yeah… Well, your probably not one of those, but you have a pretty narrow view or maybe you feel like Vic hit too close to home with the Nerdgasm crack.. I think Vic was hoping some people would show some restraint! What I saw at my viewing of TDK, in a right wing town, I might add, were plenty of small kids under 13 sitting in the audience which I thought was very disappointing. Disappointing, that parents didn’t know that much about the movie. How do I know? I listened to people before, and after the showing. Working mothers and fathers are so very busy, family time is reduced to a 2.5 hr expo. that would have made Aldous Huxley shake his head. I’m not trying to take anything from TDK either. It just shouldn’t be marketed this way. I hope you left your kids under 13 home or they have enough trust and rapport with you to feel comfortable to talk about what they saw.

    Good luck on your site and let every one know who you are. I, for one, want to make sure I’m not frequenting your site by accident!

  12. well said everyone

  13. Wow
    Looks like Jaime droppped the ball on this one… when I saw this article a few weeks ago I knew I had to keep it. I just knew deep down…this would happen… Obviously this some people are just not good at being critics:)

  14. I saw the film over the weekend and could not believe my eyes! It left me speechless in my seat. Heath did an excellent job! HE IS THE JOKER!!!. I loved it!!! I am so glad it is making a great deal of money (155 million on its opening weekend). A must see for anyone who is a Batman fan! In my opinion, the best Batman movie so far, and especially, the best Batman and Joker! Thanks, Mr. Nolan!!! Can’t wait to own the DVD.

  15. Hey people,
    I saw it, loved it, and all I want to say is that its been out for just three and a half days, and has already made $158,411,483 in this country alone, and as for content… if your offended by this movie or wouldn’t let your kids see it then I suggest you not allow them to watch the evening news either because it is no different. Seriously… shootings, violence, psychos, there all around us all the time. The only difference is that in “the dark knight” there’s a hero.

  16. @ Zachary: Do you have kids? I’ve observed that average kids won’t watch the news on their own. The time on screen given to talking heads just turns them off. That is a key to understanding the difference between violence in the privacy of your home and the violence in a captive public venue. It’s pretty standard practice for the news to issue warnings before showing explicit footage. Whether its subject matter is violent criminal behavior, or war footage, or intense images of surgery. Parents have options in these situations that are easier to enact too. Changing the channel, sending their children from the room or helping their children as the footage is being played to understand all aspects of what’s going on. The news doesn’t show case aberrant behavior in such a personal way as movies do either or show unrealistic acts, like Harvey Dent’s scenes. Nobody walks around having that kind of physical trauma so soon after it happens. Kids have insufficient experience to discriminate though, which compounds its impact.

    If you have any interest in these issues try starting here http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/issues/violence/violence_entertainment.cfm and then branch out to take in other points of view. It’s worth the effort to see all aspects of the issue.

  17. you fail.

  18. Comments regarding Dark Knight box office can be continued here:

    http://screenrant.com/dark-knight-predictions-box-office-3044/

    Vic