The box office is not exactly be flooded with summer dollars right now in light of current events (some analysts are suggesting 25% are too afraid to go to the theaters,) so we did not expect a massive second weekend for The Dark Knight Rises. I actually took the low-end in my estimates and figured $60+ million would be in the cards especially due to the Summer Olympics.
It turns out that even my estimates were not low enough as the movie only banked $18 million on Friday, suggesting a $50-55 million weekend. Judging from the amount of interest and deterioration right now, suggesting $55 million might even be optimistic but that is what the industry believes right now. That would signal a massive 66% drop-off week-to-week from the $160.9 million debut The Dark Knight Rises saw opening weekend. For comparative purposes, that number is around $20 million lower than what the film’s direct predecessor did four years ago in its second week of release.
Much of this can be attributed to a perceived quality gap between the two offerings as well. Many think that DKR lacks the masterpiece moxy to propel itself into the same stratosphere as The Avengers, The Dark Knight, and Avatar (all $500+ million films) which is partially a lesson in the limits of marketing hype.
Outside of The Dark Knight Rises’ second week, there were two new entrants via The Watch and Step Up Revolution. The pair found only $4.5 million and $4.9 million on Friday respectively, setting up some lackluster weekend numbers in the low-teens.
The surprise of the pair comes with The Watch as it has three well-known comic actors in Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, and Jonah Hill. Unfortunately, reviews were some of the worst we have seen all year and in the age of social media where people catch onto a stinker fast, a studio might as well not release a movie if it is terrible because the box office will suffer dramatically for it. The movie reportedly cost $68 million to make.
I would just like to point out that all these failings are a bit of a knock on overall quality. Once August’s major releases hit the theaters (especially The Bourne Legacy) we will know what we are dealing with in terms of the kind of trouble that the industry is in as a whole. On the bright side of things, returning features from before The Dark Knight Rises’ release dropped off at a normal pace suggesting that fear is not snowballing like the DKR Friday number might imply.
The Dark Knight Rises currently stands at $392.3 million worldwide with $243 million of that coming from domestic markets.