Going into Friday, the industry was all abuzz about how a 2D movie might give the 3D Avengers film a run for its money in the record books. The data was suggesting that $200 million was in the cards for The Dark Knight Rises’ three-day haul which was originally given a floor of $180 million by analysts. After the $30.6 million midnight debut ($12.5 million more than that of its predecessor) such a performance was seen as an inevitability as there was much more hype for Christopher Nolan’s latest Batman flick than what we saw from the series’ previous outings.
That said, we look at some unconfirmed estimates from sources privy to box office data who are suggesting a $160 million opening weekend. This is said with the caveat of plus or minus a few million as official numbers are set to come in Warner Bros. tomorrow. [The studio has declined to release data this weekend following the events that transpired a few days ago.]
Obviously, this is not what anyone expected as the movie looks to have been ravaged by a significant drop-off throughout the weekend. As early as Friday, even when the daily estimates came out I predicted such a scenario because the $180 million 3-day was still assuming $50 million days on Saturday and Sunday which definitely was not going to happen. In the spirit of full disclosure though, nobody expected the number to come just within a few million of the film’s last debut suggesting no sequel nor trilogy completion bumps would be happening for The Dark Knight Rises.
Going forward, the film looks to be completely salvageable from a financial perspective. This blockbuster only cost about $350 million between production and marketing and it looks like the international community is oblivious to current events here in the States. Translation: whatever is lost in The Dark Knight Rises’ domestic performance will be gained on the international level as there was a whole lot of growth to be had overseas.
Despite The Dark Knight grossing over $500 million in the U.S. (one of the best performances ever in the category) the movie barely made it to $1 billion worldwide which is pretty much unheard of in today’s world. With already a handful of foreign markets reporting a surge in traffic, it looks like that film’s follow-up will easily enter the 10-figures although the loss of momentum locally could drop the effort’s profitability substantially. The Dark Knight Rises is very much now being looked at as your classic ‘over-hyped’ blockbuster that falls off a cliff in subsequent weekends.