Monday, July 28, 2008
We Are All Witnesses
As a box office enthusiast / junkie / dork I’ve been following the Dark Knight with my jaw on the floor. The opening weekend record was a big one, however, the nature of movies, particularly from a marketing standpoint, has changed so much in the last 8-10 years, that the opening weekend record has a lost a little of its panache. Movies are built to open big and then fade quickly – with the theatrical run really only serving as a glorified marketing campaign for the DVD release. Consider this: since 2001, 11 movies have opened with more than $100 million, 30 have opened with $70 or more and the record for largest opening weekend has been broken 4 times.
With that said, take absolutely nothing away from The Dark Knight’s new opening weekend record, any time you can open with $158 it’s pretty fucking incredible. But what’s been truly amazing about Dark Knight is its staying power – the movie has literally broken a record every single day it’s been out. Right now, the best comparison from a box office standpoint is Pirates 2, although there really is no precedent for what we’re seeing with Dark Knight. Pirates 2 opened with $135, made $195 in its first seven days, finishing up with $425 million. The Dark Knight opened with $158 and made $239 in its first seven days – where will it end up? I still don’t think it’ll break Titanic’s record of $600 – but there’s the very real possibility that it crosses $500.
Consider the following records we’ve seen fall in the last 10 days:
- Fastest film to $200 million – took 5 days, Pirates 2 took 8
- Fastest film to $250 million – took 8 days, Pirates 2 took 10
- Fastest film to $300 million – took 10 days, Pirates 2 took 16
- Fastest to $350 and $400 will follow in the next few days (good chance it gets to $350 by Friday and $400 mid-next week, which would obliterate the standing records)
- Highest grossing week - $239 million in its first 7 days – including an abso fucking lutely ridiculous $81 million Mon-Thurs
- Biggest second weekend - $75 million
There are more, but I think you get the point. Doesn’t it seem like only a few weeks ago we were wondering if Indy 4 could pass Iron Man as the biggest hit of the summer? Well, Dark Knight passed Indy after only 10 days, so to quote the effete cop from Lebowksi, “I guess we can close the book on that one.”
A few other box office notes:
- Step Brothers opened with a very solid $30 – anyone seen this? Any good? I’m a little Ferrelled-out at the moment, but all I really need is a little push and I’m in the theater. Anyone?
- Wait, they made another X Files movie? Why the fuck did they do that? Before they named the sequel: “X Files: I want to believe” – do you think they considered: “X Files: Please see this, Gillian Anderson is practically homeless”
- Hancock has now rung up $470 million worldwide and counting – do you ever think that Tiger Woods and Will Smith are the same person? Tiger’s amazing, because he’s absolutely un-hateable – it’s impossible not to root for him when he’s walking down 18 with a one shot lead. Will Smith is the same way, I want every movie he makes to pull down $500 – have we ever seen them in the same room?
- Mummy 3 opens this weekend; can you feel the excitement? “Mummy 3: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.” Much cooler than the original title, "Mummy 3: Brendan Fraser is fucking laughing at you. Laughing.”
- Has anyone seen the trailer for the animated Star Wars movie coming out this summer? Click here if you haven’t. I know I’ve said this before a million times, but let’s make it one million and one, what the fuck is wrong with George Lucas?. I mean, the animation looks like shit! This is how we’re going out? Star Wars redefined everything and 25 years later Lucas puts out a fucking puppet show? The Star Wars franchise is like one of those 70 yr old actresses that has had so much work done they don’t even look like a human anymore. You get a face-lift, then botox, then a cheek graph or whatever the fuck, flash forward five years and you look like a fat baby’s kneecap. Thanks, George. You're ruining my childhood. Why not frame Ken Griffey Jr for steroids and somehow take the fun out of masturbation so you can go for the clean sweep. Dick face.