By Todd Allen
To say this was an unusual week at the box office is putting it mildly. The shooting at the Dark Knight Rises opening in Colorado cast a pall over the entire film industry. The studios agreed to delay the box office data until Monday, a highly unusual instance of the studios cooperating. Other than Dark Knight Rises, everything was down and down a lot. Most of it over 50%. I suspect this is a combination of the massive anticipation for Dark Knight Rises (including tons of advance ticket sales) and some people not going to the movies in the wake of the shooting. Either way, Dark Knight opened with $160,887,295, which is good for the #3 opening all-time, behind Avengers and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 2. There’s some noise about it being the highest non-3-D movie, but I’m not sure to what extent the IMAX version does or doesn’t mitigate that angle, since Nolan was emphasizing the IMAX aspects during filming.
Anyway you look at it, $160M is a VERY good opening week.
Here’s what the weekend box office looked like:
Yes, Amazing Spider-Man was down a massive 68.6%. I suspect the overall theater attendance contributed to that, but that was the biggest drop in the top 10. One of the big questions marks was whether or not Dark Knight was going suck the life of out Spidey and it certainly looks like there was a heightened drop there.
Avengers, the Big Dog of the year, is still hanging around with 495 screens.
Next week, the science fiction comedy The Watch will debut with ~3000 screens and Step Up Revolution with ~2500 screens.
If Dark Knight drops 50% next week, it will probably lap Spider-Man for #3 movie of the year. I’m not sure too much should be read into the box office trends for this week. The next couple could potentially be a little off, too. I don’t want to dwell on that aspect, but the major media will probably milk a couple weeks out of the tragedy and the studios and theater owners are just going to have to take that a week at a time.