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Weekend Wrap-Up: Knight Rise, but Overshadowed by Darkness

July 23rd, 2012

There was tragedy over the weekend at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, which is clearly a more important story than any box office numbers. However, we try to avoid politics here, and try to stick with the numbers, but the two stories might be hard to untangle. As expected, The Dark Knight Rises led the box office, but with a more subdued opening. It failed to match The Avengers's opening from earlier in the summer, but was the biggest from the franchise. It helped propel the overall box office to $230 million, which was 39% higher than last weekend and 21% higher than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2012 now leads 2011 by 6.7% at $6.37 billion to $5.96 billion.

The Dark Knight Rises earned first place with $160.89 million, which is slightly higher than The Dark Knight opened with four years ago and is the third best opening weekend of all time. It also had the third biggest opening day; however, it fell apart on Saturday and its second day total was below The Avengers's third day total. This sharp decline could be due to the shooting and people avoiding the film because they were worried about a copycat attack. It could be because the reviews were weaker than expected. It is strange that a film with 86% positive reviews is being described as, "weaker than expected", but that is the case here. There were many critics who said this was the weakest installment in the Christopher Nolan trilogy, but still gave it an overall positive review. There were some who said is was the weakest film Christopher Nolan has ever directed, and still gave it a positive review. High expectations might have cost this film tens of millions of dollars during its opening weekend, and more down the road. Where will it go from here? $300 million is nearly assured, while if it has the same legs as the previous two films, it could get to $500 million. It depends on if it recovers next weekend.

Ice Age: Continental Drift was a distant second with $20.42 million over the weekend for a total of $88.84 million after two. This is well below expectations, but its international numbers are fantastic. In fact, I suspect there will be yet another sequel and the studio will be more or less unconcerned about its box office numbers here, but instead will concentrate on how to maximize its international numbers. In fact, I will go further and predict this will become a trend for certain genres. The importance of the domestic box office numbers will be minimized by studios, who will be primarily concerned with international numbers and will greenlight films that they know will be mostly ignored here.

The Amazing Spider-Man also fell a lot faster than expected plummeting 69% to $10.89 million. On the other hand, it has $228.61 million domestically and even more internationally, so it has likely already made a profit.

Ted remained on pace for $200 million, barely, with $10.01 million over the weekend for a running tally of $180.43 million. It has already made a profit, not counting its international numbers, so the studio must be happy. Also, Seth MacFarlane will pretty much get free reign on his next film.

Brave reached $200 million before the weekend and added $6.02 million over the weekend. So far it has pulled in $208.77 million after a month of release. It now has more than Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and should overtake The Lorax for biggest digitally animated film of the year. This is lower than expected, but more than enough to earn a profit, assuming it makes as much internationally as it did here.

As expected, Magic Mike was knocked out of the top five, but crossed $100 million in total with $4.29 million over the weekend for a total of $101.97 million after four. It was the 16th film of the year to reach the century mark.


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Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Brave, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises, Ted, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Magic Mike