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. Hey Ronnie,

    If we turn out to be wrong, that’s fine. This was a speculative article, not a hard core prediction.

    Vic

  2. After watching Hellboy2 in a theater with kids, I have no doubt that the dark tone will have NO EFFECT on the BO totals. ;-)

    For every responsable family there will be 3 others that don’t give a,,,,

  3. I lost a lot of respect for Vic when he gave Hancock a good review and predicted this movie would only make 60-80 mill. Batman will RAPE mama mia and space chimps, and will also make more money than iron man. 100 mill+ probably more like 150 in the opening. Heaths dead, everyone is marketing this and tickets are being sold out at a ridiculous pace. Doritos and Dominoes both have this in their commercials, I mean wtf.

  4. Yeah dude, real easy now that we’re a week out to make a “prediction” of $150MM with all the info that’s come out in the entire MONTH since this article was written.

    Maybe you can wait until the Friday box office numbers come in and then make a more accurate prediction, eh?

    So I liked Hancock, big deal. It got weak towards the end but overall it was entertaining. It’s been out only one week and has made over $140MM so I must not be alone in my opinion.

    And finally, pay attention: I didn’t write this article.

    Vic

  5. Hancock is down 45% as of Friday.

    (I’m not aiming this at anyone) but in my opinion, there’s a lot more ppl out there with BAD tatse in movies and tv then there are smart ppl with higher standards in film and Tv.
    You can just see this in the reality shows and throwaway movies we get nowadays. ;-)

    Hancock blew, compaired to HellBoy2. (Imo)

  6. Yeah call me a sellout to big Studios. ;-)
    (Heehee)

    I just saw a Comcast commercial on tv that had a family in Gotham and the daughter walks in with a activated can of Fear Toxin. The father is holding up a copy of Gotham times. The whole ad is sponsered by TDK…

    This is getting sureal.

    I remember that the first Batman (Keaton) film was just like this for its day.
    There was no internet then but the posters and buzz were very much the same for the time.

  7. Warner Bro’s just called and said that they want their money back cause I was ragging on the Conmcast AD and my spelling and grammer sucks.

    Gheesh. ;-)

  8. 790,

    I agree Hellboy 2 was much better than Hancock…hancock wasn’t that good and I was sad to see it only dropped 45% because it doesn’t say much for moviegoers taste anymore. I was expecting and actually wanting to see a nice big 60% drop for that movie, would have renewed my faith in the movie going public a little more to be honest with you. I think Will Smith is just as cool as the next guy but come on, crap is crap

  9. Vic is entiled to like whatever he wants btw. Hancock was decent till the 3rd act and then it fell apart IMO…see, my opinion. I was really looking forward (and still am of course) to TDK coming out but was only saying it would make 70-80 million about a month ago…looks like I was WAY off now of course and I revised it recently to 120 million which could still be low, but like Vic said I’ll make come in and make my final prediction next Monday, lol

  10. Vic,

    Might not have been a hard core prediction on here but I had money on it with someone it wouldn’t break 100 million in three days….how stupid and broke do I look now? lol

  11. Anyone else watching the Gotham Tonight episodes on Comcast on demand? Some pretty cool stuff, better acting than some movies out right now, lol. Being a big Batman geek this is on par or even bigger than 1989 because of the internet. I’m in nerd nirvana, lol

  12. Sahil, sorry about the lapse. I did read this “18 percent” from a pretty good source, but my router went out July RD
    and my documents didn’t get the attention they deserved.
    By the time I got everything straightened out and I read
    your question; I forgot where I’d seen that. I thought it was in the production notes, or an interview with Wally Pfister, when they were shooting in Chicago. I didn’t find it though.

    However, Neil Miller posted an article July 7 @ FilmSchoolrejects that pretty much states 20-30 minutes. Last time I checked 18% is somewhere between those two values. So the article I read that from reflects other sources.
    Anyway, lesson learned.
    I’ll make sure I get my source saved next time.

  13. “Yeah dude, real easy now that we’re a week out to make a “prediction” of $150MM with all the info that’s come out in the entire MONTH since this article was written.

    Maybe you can wait until the Friday box office numbers come in and then make a more accurate prediction, eh?”

    LOL

  14. Ronnie
    “Sahil, sorry about the lapse. I did read this “18 percent” from a pretty good source, but my router went out July RD
    and my documents didn’t get the attention they deserved.
    By the time I got everything straightened out and I read
    your question; I forgot where I’d seen that. I thought it was in the production notes, or an interview with Wally Pfister, when they were shooting in Chicago. I didn’t find it though.

    However, Neil Miller posted an article July 7 @ FilmSchoolrejects that pretty much states 20-30 minutes. Last time I checked 18% is somewhere between those two values. So the article I read that from reflects other sources.
    Anyway, lesson learned.”

    No problem.

  15. 790
    “Yeah call me a sellout to big Studios.
    (Heehee)

    I just saw a Comcast commercial on tv that had a family in Gotham and the daughter walks in with a activated can of Fear Toxin. The father is holding up a copy of Gotham times. The whole ad is sponsered by TDK…

    This is getting sureal.

    I remember that the first Batman (Keaton) film was just like this for its day.
    There was no internet then but the posters and buzz were very much the same for the time.”

    I saw another Comcast/TDK commercial similar to the one that you saw…it was a mom coming home with her kids and she says “Gothm City is going crazy…there was a joker shooting up this bus”.

    If the hype for TDK is similar to the original Batman which made $411M worldwide it would be $712M approximately after inflation. I think the studios would be happy with that amount today.

  16. Right on Sahil, ;-) yeah they could make a movie on the marketing alone for this movie.
    There taking little bits from the film in those Comcast ads. Trippy Ads.

    According to my sources:
    If every seat possible is sold next weekend….the BO gross could be 193 mil. But we shall see soon !

  17. 790
    “Hancock is down 45% as of Friday.

    (I’m not aiming this at anyone) but in my opinion, there’s a lot more ppl out there with BAD tatse in movies and tv then there are smart ppl with higher standards in film and Tv.

    Hancock blew, compaired to HellBoy2. (Imo)”

    I dont think its fare to say whats good or not and how smart people are based on what they watch in theaters or home.

    Hancock could have been the one of the worst movie ever made and it still would have made a lot of money just b/c it has Will Smith and it came out on July 4th weekend.
    On the other hand a movie like Hellboy 2 is only going to get a small percentage of Hancock viewers just because there is no big names and it doesnt appeal to everyone.

  18. Every seat possible will not be sold out guaranteed! Some people and I am not talking about hardcore fans here but some people will wait for the crowds to die down a little. It could make alot of money the following m-f and s-s. I am guessing $185 for the first 10 days.

  19. Yeah my official prediction will stay at 160+

    Gonna be a great weekend. ;-)

  20. @Sahil,
    I dont think its fare to say whats good or not and how smart people are based on what they watch in theaters or home.

    (Your doing it right now Sahil)

    If its not fair to say what’s good or not, there’s not going to be alot to discuss here. ;-)

    And…..
    I can make value judgements based on what I see in relation to my opinions. Do it all the time. ;-)

    This is Screen Rant, not the Communist China state run movie blog…..

  21. @ 790

    I guess what I am trying to say is that
    just because YOU didnt like Hancock it doest mean its a bad movie or that the people who liked it were not smart.

    And since when does a movie have to be good for it to make money?
    Ex.
    Norbit = $34M opening weekend
    Cloverfield = $40M opening weekend
    Meet The Spartans = $18.5M opening weeken

  22. Sahil thank’s for your opinion,,,

  23. Sahil,

    I think it will do around $180 to $200 million for the first 10 days. It’s monday total will more than likely will top $10 million alone. Not many movies top that on a non holiday monday that aren’t huge blockbusters. Just say it makes $100 million this weekend and $50 million it’s second weekend it’s monday through thursday totals at an average of around 8 million your talking a 10 ten day total $182 million, very realistic numbers now it seems.

    If it does more than $130 million this coming weekend all bets are off, lol.

  24. actually the first Batman made $250 worldwide which with inflation is over 400 million in today’s terms

  25. Given the fact its in a record 4366 venues they have added 1500 plus counting showings there are at least 700-1000 midnight showings sold out some theaters are showing it for 72 hours straight, the hype and the heath factor- it should definitely break Spiderfluff’s record 160 million predication

  26. @ Dave
    “actually the first Batman made $250 worldwide which with inflation is over 400 million in today’s terms”

    What?
    The original Batman made $411 worldwide before inflation. After inflation it is $712M.

    1000 midnight shows sold out? what is that 500 seats each? at $10 a pop is still only $5M right? thats only a small percentage of the total weekend gross. Offcourse the midnight shows are sold out! I’ve said this b4 that they shoulda opened this movie on Wed or maybe even Thurs. That woulda been better overall for the WB.

  27. Looks like you were wrong, good sir:

    http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117989204.html?categoryid=13&cs=1

    $60 million in the first 24 hours alone. BETTER than Spider-Man 3 (likely due to the fact that it’s…well, better than Spider-Man 3). It could gross only a third as much for the next two days and still reach a hundred million.

    Personally, I’m thinking it’ll finish somewhere in the $125-130 million range, which is actually a bit more conservative than what some of the fanboys are saying. Believe it or not, I’ve seen a couple of yahoos make predictions as high as $200 million.

    There’s no question that The Dark Knight will become the third movie this year to break $300 million – the question is by how much. I think it’ll bow out with about $375 million – about as much as Spider-Man 2 made.

  28. @ BBQ Platypus

    Thats a pretty good observation. What do you think will make more Indy 4 or TDK? For Worldwide that is. Indy is currenty at $775M

  29. Hey, if it turns out we were wrong I’ll be glad – TDK deserves to make a ton of money. And as to the prediction being off… if we could predict the future we wouldn’t be writing about movie news – we’d be playing the stock market.

    Vic

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