Just How Big Could The Dark Knight's Box Office Be?
by Alex Billington
July 15, 2008
Could The Dark Knight have the first $200 million opening weekend in box office history? I almost don't want to keep talking about it, for fear of jinxing it's opening weekend potential, but as the clock ticks down, it looks like expectations continue to rise. Although I highly doubt this is possible, Josh Tyler of Cinema Blend asks that exact question - could The Dark Knight hit $200 million? First off, discussion surrounding The Dark Knight has gotten a bit out of hand on the site and that's partially my fault. I've posed so many radical questions (surrounding the hype) and even critiqued a negative review (from New York Magazine) that readers are getting frustrated at my own opinion. However, I think it's best to just move on past these and focus on the future and the fact that The Dark Knight finally hits theaters this weekend. So with that, let's continue looking at the latest ticket sales stats.
MovieTickets.com announced just yesterday that advance ticket sales for The Dark Knight have surpassed three of their top-10 performing films of all-time at this point in the sales cycle. This means that they've sold three times as many advance tickets as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and twice as many as Spider-Man 3 and Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (at this point in time - four days in advance). Additionally, they report that over 450 showings are already sold out and that 1300 midnight shows are currently listed for sale. These are some incredibly impressive stats and we're not even taking into consideration Fandango.com's numbers. Apparently the only other two movies in history with this much advance momentum were Star Wars: Episode III and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
It's those sort of numbers that have made Josh question whether The Dark Knight has the potential to reach upwards of $160 to $200 million in its opening weekend. It's a fiery debate amongst fans about the actual box office potential of the film, but let's just stick to the facts (for the most part). The only way it could achieve that kind of miraculous success is if every seat at every last showing sold out on opening weekend. Unfortunately I don't think that will be the case (who goes at 10AM?), but Josh makes a great point: "If any movie is ever going to come close to doing it, then this little Batman movie's got the juice." Without getting into arguments over the dark nature of the film or its running time, the excitement for this is so extreme that it is one of the few films in history to have the potential to get to that point.
With only three days remaining, The Dark Knight is still building buzz. Every new positive review that pops up gives the film's momentum an extra boost, pushing it further and further towards the $200 million range. And I'm not the only one who has called it one of the best superhero movies ever made. And as long as people continue to say that, this is destined to become one of the most successful superhero movies ever made. The Dark Knight has been poised to shatter records for weeks already, and news like this today is only making that speculation a reality. The film is definitely on its way to have a phenomenal opening weekend - and I'll be watching closely as the bean counters tally up the earnings. While I still can't make any predictions myself, I will say that this will be one hell of an amazing weekend.