You may have noticed that there was not a Box Office Report last week. Due to the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado the major studios made a choice to not announce any returns during the weekend, in tribute to the victims. A classy gesture that we at The Flickcast were all to willing to follow.
In any event there was a rather large Box Office event that happened last weekend, so it bears some discussion this week. The Dark Knight Rises debuted to fantastic numbers that fell short of the lofty expectations of we the prognosticators. Still, it managed to break a couple of records and come out the end of a difficult weekend with $160+ Million dollars in the bank.
Naturally people will compare this opening with that of The Avengers and The Dark Knight, and while it is in the same ball park of those two phenomenons, it failed to capture the cultural zeitgeist that propelled them to the next level.
Take this weekend’s returns as an example. The Dark Knight Rises took in another strong $64+ Million to stand number one for a second weekend, however it dropped over 60% in business from its debut frame. A number that is actually solid for a front loaded comic-book film, but is a deeper percentage dip than The Avengers or The Dark Knight ever took at any point in their respective runs.
The reasoning could be muted interest due to the tragedy, but personally I think it has more to do with mixed word of mouth and the fact that the film is generally a good, but not great, finale. Both the previous two comic book behemoths left people in awe of something they had never really seen before. While The Dark Knight Rises is kind of all the mediocre parts of Inception and The Dark Knight rolled into one giant run time.
But no need to dig into the content, this is a Box Office report, and dang nabit there is some box office to report. Two new movies did attempt to carve solid business in the wake of Batman, and sadly neither were really able to do so.
Coming in second place this weekend was the strong holder, Ice Age: Continental Drift. With an impressive hold and over $13 Million in haul, the sequel managed to sail strongly above $100 Million in domestic takes. If the film can hold well in the relatively kid-film light month of August it has a fair chance of climbing well past the $150 Million total. A strong number that keeps the movie in line with previous Ice Age films.
Third place went to the slightly stronger of the two new films, the R-Rated Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn comedy The Watch. It was always going to be a tough sell considering the PG-13 realm that both stars seem to live in these days, but with the addition of Jonah Hill who does play strong to an R-Rated audience, expectations had to be higher. Only bringing in $13 Million might not be an outright fail, but it is far from a win for most involved.
Also Step Up: Revolution debuted in fourth place with a bit over $11 Million. This film was not terribly expensive to make, and the Step Up franchise has a built-in audience that will make this a profitable endeavor. While not a rousing success and technically the lowest opening of the series, this is still a solid par performance for the dance franchise. It is also about as much as you could have expected given the release date.
Next weekend sees the remake of Total Recall and the third film in the inexplicably endearing Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise. High hopes should not be held for either, and Batman should get one more victory lap before this incarnation of the character bids a final adieu to his ancestral home atop the Box Office mountain.
Total Weekend Box Office:
1 The Dark Knight Rises $64,075,000
2 Ice Age: Continental Drift $13,300,000
3 The Watch $13,000,000
4 Step Up Revolution $11,800,000
5 Ted $7,353,000
6 The Amazing Spider-Man $6,800,000
7 Brave $4,237,000
8 Magic Mike $2,580,000
9 Savages (2012) $1,753,000
10 Moonrise Kingdom $1,387,000