Let The Games Begin
With the release of The Dark Knight Rises tracking numbers Thursday it is time to consider the movie's box office potential
Christopher Nolan has created an abominable box office monster a beast whose purpose is to destroy records and embarrass 3D films. The Dark Knight Rises is on course by conservative estimates to gross between $150-170 million which will put it on par to beating the boy wizard's 3D opening weekend total of $169 million. These estimates will likely be the floor of The Dark Knight Rises potential box office totals which according to the LA Times TDKR is polling slightly ahead of The Dark Knight in interest among likely movie goers. Think about The Dark Knight if it was released today it would make $175 million adjusted for ticket price inflation and if interest in TDKR is greater than its predecessor there can be no doubt that it will make close to or more than $180 million.
Even though The Dark Knight Rises is tracking slightly behind The Avengers it is better to be optimistic about it box office potential then skeptical because of the weekend that the movie debuts. On this weekend in July last year Harry Potter broke the midnight opening record by grossing $43.5 million on its way to a truly magical $92.1 million opening day and four years ago The Dark Knight destroyed the previous opening weekend record by grossing $158 million and the same thing can happen to The Dark Knight Rises. The perfect storm or what I like to call Christmas in July for a movie like TDKR is when higher than normal monthly theater attendance caused by blockbusters such as The Amazing Spiderman and Ice Age combines with glowing reviews and millions of students out of school for the summer as well as the tens of millions of people on vacation in July helps a mega blockbuster topple box office records. Think of it like a hurricane when warmer than normal ocean temps with a stationary high pressure system transforms a normal category 3 hurricane into the perfect storm with winds exceeding 200 mph. This metaphorically speaking can be The Dark Knight Rises at the box in July which is why I believe that it will break The Avengers opening weekend record but either way it will certainly be close.
With three weeks left before The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters anticipation for the film is so incredible high fans are ready to demand that Warner Brothers release the film early and expectations are mounting after each new TV spot as well as new details about the film is released. Now entering into the home stretch for the movie expect the studio to dramatically ramp up its marketing campaign in fact a fourth final trailer will be shown when The Amazing Spiderman debuts July 3 and expect that to appear online Monday. The point is that three weeks is more than enough time for Warner Brothers to raise the level of excitement among the general public and whip desperate fans who waited four long years for an opportunity to see this film into a madding frenzy. So anyone who discounts The Dark Knight chances at breaking the opening weekend record is ignorant of the high demand for this film and the demand that could be generated for it in less than a month. Box office analyst and fans of Nolan's Batman series know that you can never count out Gotham's dark knight, with the marketing for the film set to hit a fever pitch, the first reviews of them film coming in just over two weeks also the celebration of the film's success, talks of another academy award and the gloating that will come after July 20th has every DC fan echoing Bane's words to Gotham "let the games begin".
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