Update: It looks like 2D definitely got to The Dark Knight Rises as it will likely come up short of The Avengers’ $80.8 million single day total. Numbers look to be in $75-80 million (when including midnight showings) which is the best performance for a 2D offering to date, beating out the $72.7 million first day haul of Twilight: New Moon.
Hollywood is projecting a massive drop-off throughout the weekend even when accounting for the $30 million 12 AM showings; however, the numbers are not exactly adding up because they also believe a $170+ million three-day debut is still in the cards suggesting $50 million and $50 million days on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Those numbers are just slightly above that of The Dark Knight four years ago.
Original 7/20: Despite massive concerns in Hollywood about the theater shootings’ box office impact on Christopher Nolan’s trilogy capper, The Dark Knight Rises looks to be performing as expected as it is currently tracking north of $80 million for the day. Such a debut would make the Christian Bale-lead effort one of the biggest single day debuts of all-time, rivaling that of The Avengers which snagged $80.8 million and the currently day-one record holder Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II ($91.1 million.)
These estimates are met with a side of heavy skepticism though in that perhaps Saturday and Sunday could see a gigantic drop-off in light of current events. Today’s heavy opening was widely attributed to mammoth pre-sales and a $30.6 million midnight performance (second highest all-time.) Things have changed since mid-week and now the box office reports are widely expected to be scaled down. It is hard to imagine that The Dark Knight Rises could have benefited from the tragedy in Colorado, but it is equally hard to believe that Hollywood’s biggest film to hit in a long while would become completely deflated by circumstances that really could have happened in any public venue.
With that in mind, we take a look at the Saturday and Sunday records held by The Avengers of $69.6 million and $57.1 million and pretty much admit right now that there is a very slim chance of either of these records being broken even if Friday belongs to The Dark Knight Rises. Furthermore, the $207 million+ three-day weekend record looks a bit implausible as studio estimates now suggest a $170-180 million total for the week. It is worth noting though that people pegged The Avengers at only $160 million until Friday night saw a huge boost to business, so things are definitely not definitive in terms of The Dark Knight Rises’ overall box office performance.