EDITORIAL: The Dark Knight Rises at The Box Office
With The Dark Knight Rises tickets going on sell Monday it's time to clear up some common misconceptions about the film's box office potential.
I am new to CBM so this is my first article and I want to write about some of the misconceptions that I have read concerning The Dark Knight Rises potential box office success. There are experts, box office analyst as well as commenters on this site who believe that the lack of 3D ticket sales will keep the TDKR from setting records. It's true that 3D ticket sales can help any film but 3D alone does not determine whether a film will set records at the box office or be just another summer blockbuster. Understand that in order for 3D to help a film set a new box office record it has to be on pace to setting that record in the first place. For example The Avengers was set to make over $175 million (2D) a new U.S opening weekend record but its total was added to by the more than $30 million that it received in higher 3D ticket sales thus pushing its gross to an amazing $207.4 million. This underscores a well-known fact about 3D that it's just a gimmick that Hollywood uses to pad its box office totals and mask the fact that theater attendance is still in decline. The 1997 film Titanic has a higher theater attendance record than in any film currently at the top of the box office but was out grossed by Avatar a 3D film whose enormous totals conceal the fact that ticket sales for mega blockbusters today has fallen below 1990's records. The Dark Knight Rises does not need to be in 3D it just have to sell more tickets than its highly successful predecessor which if it does by 20 percent it will break The Avengers record and by 30 it will make an unbelievable $227.4 million. I mention this only to emphasize the fact that theater attendance and actual ticket s sells rather than inflated 3D totals is more important to TDKR success.
Another persistent misconception about The Dark Knight Rises potential is that it needs to attract a family audience to top The Avengers at the box office. This is an assumption which has no basis in reality but it is mentioned so often that it has become a truism among even some Batman fans. The Dark Knight sold just over 22 million tickets its opening weekend and The Avengers sold 22.1 million tickets its opening weekend which is so close that is begs the question is anyone looking at theater attendance? A family audience will without question help TDKR but it is not need because the millions of students who are out for the summer that will see this film in record numbers as well as the long suffering Nolanites and Batman fans who waited four long years to see this film.
The late Heath Ledger who without question played an important role in The Dark Knight success will not be need for in order for TDKR to shatter records because there are different market forces at work today than in 2008. With the success of the Hunger Games, The Vow and last year's Bridesmaids Hollywood executives have gotten the message that women are playing an even larger role in the success of blockbuster films which is why TDKR needs Anne Hathaway. A strong female character like the femme fatal Selina Kyle as portrayed by Ms. Hathaway can bring this key demographic out to the theaters and reader please understand it will be women who will make up a large part of the new audience that will put this film in record breaking territory. If there be any who doubt Anne's girl power and credentials please see The Devil Wears Prada or just ask your girlfriend/wife if she will come with you to see Anne Hathaway in a movie July 20 and gauge her response. Again women will be critical to the success of TDKR.
There can be no question that The Dark Knight Rises will be a monster success at the box office which is why I predict that it will make $87 million its opening day and move to a weekend total of $209 million in the U.S. When 2012 goes in the record books it will be noted that this year was one of the best for Comic book adaptions at the box office.
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