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  1. #1
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    The Dark Knight to Break Titanic's All-Time Box Office Record? Merged

    Theater owners must be having a celebratory drink or 30 right now. This weekend's domestic movie box office total was the highest ever, with $253 million in ticket sales. Obviously, The Dark Knight led the way with a record breaking opening, but you also had Mamma Mia! opening strong, along with holdovers like Hancock, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Wall-E, and Hellboy II.

    The Dark Knight's projected $155 million domestic box office haul this weekend puts it on pace to break the all-time weekend record set by Spider-Man 3. Should be interesting to see how the attendance holds up for next weekend, as Spider-Man 3 had mediocre reviews and so-so audience word-of-mouth which led to a 63% plunge the following weekend.

    Batman Begins had a disappointing opening weekend, but managed to hold its audience from week to week, as it benefited from excellent word-of-mouth (and the highest Cinemascore audience rating for that entire summer). The Dark Knight so far has had stellar reviews, and it should be interesting to see how the audience word-of-mouth goes and how these box office numbers hold up. Unlike Batman Begins, The Dark Knight has skyhigh expectations, which might actually lead to more of an audience backlash if it doesn't live up to those lofty standards.

    Word though is that The Dark Knight got a Cinemascore audience rating of A, which puts it on solid footing for the weeks to come. (A Cinemascore of B+ [which was Spider-Man 3's score] or below is usually a sign of trouble ahead, because Cinemascore only polls the opening night audiences that are the most fanatical moviegoers)

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...e080159D61.DTL

    http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20213630,00.html
    Last edited by Woochifer; 07-20-2008 at 03:30 PM.
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  2. #2
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Hey Wooch, time value of money considered, what film would own the record for Biggest Box Office Weekend opener?
    Since new releases are compared to films of the past, I wish we'd get price index adjusted figures, to me that's more relevant but probably hard for newspapers to compile and maintain updated figures for.

  3. #3
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    This may have more than one reason.

    First, this season's summer list of movies does seem much better than they have been over the last few years. I've seen a lot of good reviews for several new movies. Can't remember the last time it looked so good.
    Add to that, that many people are forgoing long vacations for more affordable (closer to home) releases. Going to the movies a little more often may be a few people's idea of an extended vacation.
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    All true GM. Gas prices are making people re-think long trips. Personally, I won't be getting on an airplane until next summer at the earliest. The new catch word is "Staycation".

    The Dark Night, IMO is going to be the revenue king, no matter how it's looked at.
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    Oh where have ye gone RL?
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    If this movie doesn't become available on Blu-ray, so help me I'll burn someone ELSE's back lot down!!
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  6. #6
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Hey Wooch, time value of money considered, what film would own the record for Biggest Box Office Weekend opener?
    Since new releases are compared to films of the past, I wish we'd get price index adjusted figures, to me that's more relevant but probably hard for newspapers to compile and maintain updated figures for.
    Box Office Mojo actually works all of these numbers out -- inflation-adjusted box office numbers, daily tracking comparisons, etc. They also translate box office numbers into approximate ticket sales, which IMO would be a more valid indicator if it was used more often. But, most of that is only available for a fee. They still post a lot of great information though on their site for free.

    Even with time value considered, I think that The Dark Knight and Spidey would still be duking it out for the top spot. The reason is that the timing, marketing, and screening of movie releases has changed so dramatically over the past 20+ years.

    Right now, the strategy is to get a movie onto as many screens as possible for the first weekend, and target all of the marketing towards a huge opening number. The built-in advantage of this kind of front-loading is that the opening weekend audiences don't listen as much to critics, and you have virtually zero word-of-mouth warning people if a movie stinks. Notice all those "movie cash" coupons that give you a free ticket to a particular movie with the purchase of a DVD? Well, those are usually only good for the first two weeks, and it's solely for purpose of goosing the opening weekend numbers.

    Consider that The Dark Knight opened at 4,300+ theaters and over 10,000 screens. In 1989, when the original Batman opened, it had an record breaking opening weekend of ~$40 million. That inflation adjusts to over ~$60 million in today's dollars -- hardly worth mentioning in today's market. However, consider that Batman exceeded the previous record (which had only been set two weeks prior) by about $10 million. That movie opened at about 2,000 theaters, which back then was also a record. Batman was probably the start of the modern movie marketing campaign in which all of the marketing targeted towards the opening night.

    Since that time, the theater industry went on a building binge, virtually doubling the number of movie screens and supplanting the old neighborhood theaters with 20+ screen behemoth megaplexes.

    Before the megaplex, a lot of theaters switched their programs every week (had to do that if they were limited to one or two screens), and studios would stagger their releases with limited openings to build word of mouth and gradually ramp up the number of screens during wide release. Star Wars for example opened at only about 100 theaters, with about 1,200 theaters when it went into wide release. With the megaplex in just about every market now, studios can now go for a saturation opening and virtually assure a seat for anyone who wants one.

    The figure that's now starting to get more play, now that the entire release schedule is geared towards record breaking opening weekends, is the second weekend -- i.e., how much the box office numbers tumble the second week. Generally, action and fanboy pics now have huge dropoffs in the second and subsequent weeks.

    With box office records and huge openings getting posted regularly, the studios are now looking more at their old school standby of building word-of-mouth and seeing if a movie has "legs." Problem for them is that a movie's staying power is more often determined by whether or not a movie is any good!
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  7. #7
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    This may have more than one reason.

    First, this season's summer list of movies does seem much better than they have been over the last few years. I've seen a lot of good reviews for several new movies. Can't remember the last time it looked so good.
    Add to that, that many people are forgoing long vacations for more affordable (closer to home) releases. Going to the movies a little more often may be a few people's idea of an extended vacation.
    Those factors all contribute. But, I think the key is simply a lot of people now having seen Batman Begins over the past three years, and looking forward to the continuation of the new storyline. It's a very well liked movie, and that usually creates a lot of pent up demand for the sequel. For example, the first Austin Powers only did about $50 million at the box office. But, it subsequently became a huge hit on home video and on TV. The sequel eclipsed that $50 million mark in the first weekend, and subsequently topped $200 million at the box office.

    I think the other factor driving the box office for The Dark Knight is Heath Ledger. His death in January and all of the rumors about his portrayal of the Joker, put the movie even higher on peoples' watch lists.
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  8. #8
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    I think the other factor driving the box office for The Dark Knight is Heath Ledger. His death in January and all of the rumors about his portrayal of the Joker, put the movie even higher on peoples' watch lists.
    Bingo....

    I've heard more about Ledger in the last 3 months than any other actor, and that's something with wacky Tom Cruise out there and Brangelina procreating. Tragedy in show biz tends to martyr celebrities, whether it's Kurt Cobain or Heath Ledger. There is an aura around this movie that I think has pushed it from typical super-hero genre blockbuster to event of the summer.

    We tried seeing it Friday night, and again Saturday night - both simultaneous late shows sold out each night. That's pretty incredible for my town, I don't remember that ever happening except for The Phantom Menace.

    So we saw WALL-E instead. Pretty good in its own right. But now I really wanna see TDK.

  9. #9
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Those factors all contribute. But, I think the key is simply a lot of people now having seen Batman Begins over the past three years, and looking forward to the continuation of the new storyline. It's a very well liked movie, and that usually creates a lot of pent up demand for the sequel. For example, the first Austin Powers only did about $50 million at the box office. But, it subsequently became a huge hit on home video and on TV. The sequel eclipsed that $50 million mark in the first weekend, and subsequently topped $200 million at the box office.

    I think the other factor driving the box office for The Dark Knight is Heath Ledger. His death in January and all of the rumors about his portrayal of the Joker, put the movie even higher on peoples' watch lists.
    Good points. And with all the great reviews this movie is getting, it will be interesting to see how many records it does end up breaking. The next record for this movie will be, the first movie this year to get my cheap a$$ to pry open my wallet open and actually go OUT to see it.
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  10. #10
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    I am leaving to go see it now. Got some hard to find tickets without being scalped. I don't really need to be scalped right now, its already cold on me head.
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  11. #11
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Another interesting group of numbers that Box Office Mojo just posted -- the Sunday night box office figures. The Dark Knight made $44 million on Sunday alone, which is huge and only an 8.5% drop from Saturday's total of $47.7 million.

    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/daily/chart/
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  12. #12
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Bingo....

    I've heard more about Ledger in the last 3 months than any other actor, and that's something with wacky Tom Cruise out there and Brangelina procreating. Tragedy in show biz tends to martyr celebrities, whether it's Kurt Cobain or Heath Ledger. There is an aura around this movie that I think has pushed it from typical super-hero genre blockbuster to event of the summer.

    We tried seeing it Friday night, and again Saturday night - both simultaneous late shows sold out each night. That's pretty incredible for my town, I don't remember that ever happening except for The Phantom Menace.

    So we saw WALL-E instead. Pretty good in its own right. But now I really wanna see TDK.
    Also want to see Wall-E as well, but not sure if that will happen before Wall-E exits the theaters.

    I think that Heath Ledger's death indeed elevated The Dark Knight into a megaevent. It seems that the ticket demand is holding up even on a weeknight -- all of the IMAX screenings in my area for tonight as well as tomorrow night are sold out.

    Even with the huge reception for TDK, I don't think that anything can match the buzz that accompanied the Keaton-Burton Batman. That Batman was more of a pop cultural phenomenon than a movie. The movie itself was almost secondary to the hype and build up. Could not avoid the batsigns on billboards, or the t-shirts, or Prince videos, or everything else tied to the movie. Since this was before the advent of online ticketing, the crowds outside the theaters were massive and people were camped out in line all day. That was really the first time I could remember where literally everyone I knew had to see a movie on opening weekend.

    The $30 million opening weekend mark had only been crossed for the first time a month earlier with the openings of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Ghostbusters II, and then Batman comes along and obliterates that record with over $40 million.

    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    Good points. And with all the great reviews this movie is getting, it will be interesting to see how many records it does end up breaking. The next record for this movie will be, the first movie this year to get my cheap a$$ to pry open my wallet open and actually go OUT to see it.
    Just the first time out at a movie this year?! What does the wife have to say about that?

    Then again, this will be only the second movie I'll have seen since our baby girl joined the world last year, at least I have an excuse!
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  13. #13
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    The theater was packed, the lot full, not a seat left in the house.
    Did it live up to the hype?
    hell yeah
    This is not a movie for the faint of heart, its managed to do something
    really amazing, a real life story about a comic.
    And people die in this one, its very dark, but well worth the ride.
    If you go in expecting another "comic book movie" you will be surprized,
    to say the least.
    155 mill, broke the record, and deserved it heartily
    CANT MISS THIS ONE, and claim to be a movie fan.
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  14. #14
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Just the first time out at a movie this year?! What does the wife have to say about that?
    I have offered many times to take her out to the movies. She is the one saying that we need to save money.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Then again, this will be only the second movie I'll have seen since our baby girl joined the world last year, at least I have an excuse!
    See above comment about money.

    How's Miss Baby Wooch doing? How long till she takes over the remote?
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  15. #15
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    This may have more than one reason.

    First, this season's summer list of movies does seem much better than they have been over the last few years. I've seen a lot of good reviews for several new movies. Can't remember the last time it looked so good.
    Add to that, that many people are forgoing long vacations for more affordable (closer to home) releases. Going to the movies a little more often may be a few people's idea of an extended vacation.
    Yup, those are good points. I've been to the theater about 4 times already this year and I still want to see a couple more. I got 2 kids(2yrs & 9yrs), sometimes getting out the house with the wife for a few hours is just what the doctor ordered.

  16. #16
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Saw it in IMAX yesterday. Damn is this movie off the hook!! They use the IMAX footage for flyovers, and it is extremely effective. The sound was exceptionally aggressive, but clean and smooth as heck on the IMAX sound system.

    The only problem I had with the presentation was the changing aspect ratio, and the film going from standard film stock to IMAX film stock. Standard film stock had a clean but harder visual texture to it, the IMAX looked much smoother, very clean and clear with excellent color.

    This film exceeds the hype it has created by a long shot. However, I still liked Iron Man better.
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  17. #17
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    That's because you have an iron head!!!
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  18. #18
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Saw it in IMAX yesterday. Damn is this movie off the hook!! They use the IMAX footage for flyovers, and it is extremely effective. The sound was exceptionally aggressive, but clean and smooth as heck on the IMAX sound system.

    The only problem I had with the presentation was the changing aspect ratio, and the film going from standard film stock to IMAX film stock. Standard film stock had a clean but harder visual texture to it, the IMAX looked much smoother, very clean and clear with excellent color.

    This film exceeds the hype it has created by a long shot. However, I still liked Iron Man better.
    Where'd you see it at? Did you have to take your private jet?

    I liked Iron Man a lot. Although I thought the ending could have been a little bit longer

  19. #19
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.J.
    Where'd you see it at? Did you have to take your private jet?

    I liked Iron Man a lot. Although I thought the ending could have been a little bit longer
    Yeah, that jet was called the Honda Insight. A friend of mine who works at Warner hooked me up with a few tickets. I couldn't believe how difficult it is to get ticket to this movie.
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  20. #20
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Yeah, that jet was called the Honda Insight. A friend of mine who works at Warner hooked me up with a few tickets. I couldn't believe how difficult it is to get ticket to this movie.
    YEAH, just walk up to the box office, which is what I did
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  21. #21
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    The Dark Knight to Break Titanic's All-Time Box Office Record?

    Latest box office numbers are now in.

    The weekend box office for The Dark Knight slid by 52% to $76 million. Huge numbers with a substantial slide compared to last weekend. But, this was not nearly as steep as the 63% decline that Spider-Man 3 experienced last year, and well within the normal range for summer blockbusters. Plus, the audiences for the second weekend skewed older and came to the theaters because of word of mouth.

    The Dark Knight is now well over $300 million, having reached that milestone in only 10 days (the previous record holder, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest took 16 days to go over $300 million). Warner is now projecting that The Dark Knight will reach $400 million in 18 or 19 days, which would set another record, breaking the 43 days that Shrek 2 took to reach $400 million.

    If that happens, then it be an interesting watch to see if The Dark Knight has enough legs to catch Titanic as the all-time box office record holder. Some speculation is already putting The Dark Knight on track to come close to Titanic $600+ million domestic box office haul.

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/b...scars-too.aspx

    Personally, I think it will stop short. Even so, The Dark Knight looks very likely to become only the second movie to ever break $500 million at the box office.

    Titanic was a unique phenomenon that I don't think I'll ever see again. The movie was ridiculed and panned by nearly everyone who saw the early rough cuts, and the buzz was that James Cameron was headed towards a financial disaster that would eclipse Heaven's Gate many times over (since Titanic at that time was by far the most expensive movie ever made).

    When the movie opened to only so-so box office totals and mixed reviews, the death watch was still on. But, then the movie caught on, word-of-mouth was good, and the week-to-week box office declines were close to nil -- something that almost never happens with wide releases. As the weeks went on, you had audiences going for repeat showings week after week, and the lines around theaters went unabated for months. IIRC, Titanic was the #1 movie for nearly 4 straight months, which had not occurred in decades.

    The only movie in recent memory that built an audience into a sustained surge week after week was The Sixth Sense, which became the #1 movie after it had already been in theaters for two months.

    With the DVD and now Blu-ray such an important part of a studio's finances, I wonder how long Warner will let The Dark Knight stay in theaters if say they wanted to ramp up the home video release for the holidays. Generally, a long theatrical run benefits the theater owners more than the studios, so it will be interesting to see if The Dark Knight will make a run at Titanic.

    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/alltime/domestic.htm
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  22. #22
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Well, we finally got someone to watch the baby ... next weekend ... so that's when I'll get a chance to catch the movie.

    The latest box office figures show The Dark Knight edging out The Mummy, with close to $45 million at the box office, a decline of only about 41% -- a sign of solid word-of-mouth and repeat viewings. The total is now $394 million. It will almost certainly pass $400 million either Monday or Tuesday, making it the fastest movie to ever reach that mark.

    With the low week-to-week box office declines, looks like The Dark Knight will almost definitely become only the second movie to ever reach $500 million. It's already #8 all-time, and will likely pass Star Wars at the #2 spot within two weeks. If it keeps up the current trajectory, it will fall short of Titanic's record.
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  23. #23
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    It had to happen sooner or later, but Tropic Thunder knocked The Dark Knight from the #1 spot over the weekend. Even so, The Dark Knight had the longest week-to-week winning streak at the box office since Return of the King in 2003/04. And it now sits at #2 on the all-time list, having passed Star Wars over the weekend. The domestic box office total is now over $475 million, and on target to cross the $500 million mark within the next two weeks.

    Another interesting angle behind the box office numbers is how the IMAX screenings for The Dark Knight have retained much of their audience. On the opening weekend, the IMAX screenings accounted for about 4% of the total box office with about $6.5 million in ticket sales (on less than 1% of the total screens).

    Yet, last weekend the IMAX screenings accounted for about 8% of the total box office with about $2.5 million in ticket sales. The week-to-week box office declines have averaged around 40%, which is already a very high audience retention for a big budget action pic. But, the IMAX week-to-week declines have been closer to 20%, which is amazing for any movie.

    This supports a lot of the anecdotes I've read about how weekend IMAX screenings (and even some 7pm weeknight shows) continue to sell out, even though the movie is now past its fifth weekend in release. Seems that a lot of people who've seen the movie already will do their repeat viewing at the IMAX theaters, and more first time viewers are choosing to go with an IMAX screening rather than a conventional theater.
    Wooch's Home Theater 2.0 (Pics)
    Panasonic VIERA TH-C50FD18 50" 1080p
    Paradigm Reference Studio 40, CC, and 20 v.2
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    Sony Playstation 3 (MediaLink OS X Server)
    Sony ES SCD-C2000ES
    JVC HR-S3912U
    Directv HR22
    Oppo Digital HM-31
    Logitech Harmony 650
    iPad 3


    The Neverending DVD/BD Collection

    Subwoofer Setup and Parametric EQ Results *Dead Link*

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