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Weekend Predictions: How High will The Dark Knight Rise?

July 19th, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises looks to crush the competition at the box office this weekend. No one is wondering if it will be the number one film this weekend. People are wondering if it will have the number one opening of all time. At the beginning the year, I would have put the odds of that happening at about 80%. However, after The Avengers opened with more than $200 million, the chance of The Dark Knight Rises breaking that record is now very slim. It has a better shot at earning more than the entire box office this weekend last year, or about $191 million. The odds of 2012 winning in the year-over-year comparison is nearly 100%.

The Dark Knight Rises is one of those movies that makes me hate the internet. For those who don't know, the reviews for The Dark Knight Rises are amazing, but it is below expectations. Its Tomatometer Score is weaker than The Dark Knight and it is weaker than The Avengers's reviews. Christy Lemire posted one of the earliest negative reviews and as a result, she's gotten death threats. I make my living on the internet, I get most of my entertainment from the internet, I do most of my communication on the internet, but sometimes the internet sucks. I've been online since before the world wide web existed. I used to hang out in BBSs and on Usenet and I don't remember it being this way. I think the internet has gotten worse when it comes to bullying.

As for the film's box office chances, The Dark Knight Rises should prove to be better than some of its fans. There are some that are predicting this film will break The Avengers's record for biggest record and I've seen predictions above $210 million with about $215 million being the highest I would consider reasonable. Others think it will struggle to match the previous record, which was held by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, putting $160 million to $170 million being the lowest reasonable prediction. I don't think the higher end is likely, for two reasons. Firstly, it is aimed at older audiences than The Avengers were, which means families won't be showing up in large numbers. Secondly, it's not in 3D, which means it won't benefit from the inflated 3D ticket prices. It is being shown in IMAX with some footage shot in the IMAX format; however, there are far fewer IMAX screens out there than there are 3D capable screens. Earlier in the week, I was thinking an opening of $187 million, but I'm upping that slightly to $191 million. This is not quite record-breaking, and lower than the average prediction, but above what I thought the film would open with at the beginning of the year.

There are other films playing in theaters this week, although I can't blame you if you didn't notice. Ice Age: Continental Drift will slump into second place with $23 million over the weekend lifting its total to $92 million after two. It will hit $100 before long, but is performing below expectations.

The Amazing Spider-Man should add about $17 million to its running tally, which should rise to $234 million. This is more than it cost to make and it is earning even more internationally, so it will have no trouble breaking even.

Ted it moving towards $200 million. It if can crack $10 million this weekend, it will maintain the pace needed to get to that milestone, and the evidence suggests it will earn just over $12 million. On the other hand, there is a chance the target audience here will move to The Dark Knight Rises in large numbers and that's the only downside.

Brave reached $200 million on Wednesday and should make enough to overtake Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted for second best digitally animated film of the year. Look for just over $6 million over the weekend.

Magic Mike will be knocked out of the top five, but should still make enough over the weekend, about $5 million, to easily clear $100 million in total. It goes without saying that there will be a sequel.


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