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:

1 The Dark Knight Rises $160,887,295
2 Ice Age: Continental Drift $20,416,978
3 The Amazing Spider-Man $10,887,111
4 Ted $10,011,610
5 Brave $6,024,987
6 Magic Mike $4,291,432
7 Savages $3,398,880
8 Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection $2,253,074
9 Moonrise Kingdom $1,831,471
10 To Rome with Love $1,420,891
11 Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted $1,350,946
12 Katy Perry: Part of Me $1,148,494
13 Beasts of the Southern Wild FoxS $763,443
14 The Avengers $620,411

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.


  1. Though it’s opening wasn’t amazing, ASM had shown pretty decent box office legs. This seems to indicate that was a lack of competition more than anything else.

    Which sets up an interesting dillema. ASM is the 2nd most expensive Spider-flick and now looks like it’s going to make the least money of all and quite a lot less than the other 3. Yet, the film itself is pretty good and Garfield and Stone are great. Does Sony press forward, hoping good buzz and a less crowded future summer will result in bigger box office for the sequel to the reboot? Do they slash the budget for the next movie and change the filmmakers or the cast? Do they throw in the towel and sell the rights back to Disney?


  2. There’s no way Sony is going to just give the rights back to Disney. Even though its domestic box office is nowhere near competing with either of the three previous films, its overseas take is almost in range of the first two films. (WHY was the third one so amazingly popular overseas?)

    They’ve already scheduled a release for the sequel in the coveted first weekend of May where Marvel films have had more success. I don’t think opening on a Tuesday the day before the Fourth of July helped this film all that much. They should have opened it the weekend before and counted the Fourth as icing on the cake.

    I loved Amazing Spider-Man. I think I actually liked it more than any of the previous films. It’s sad to see it languish in the domestic box office like this.

  3. “(WHY was the third one so amazingly popular overseas?)”

    As bad as the American movie-goer is when it comes to watching crap, the evidence is that the foreign audience is even less discriminating.


  4. It’s cause whatever nuance is there gets lost in translation, so as long as a movie looks visually cool, foreign audiences can’t tell if it’s good like Avengers or crap like Spidey.

  5. “(WHY was the third one so amazingly popular overseas?)”

    My theory is b/c of DANCING SPIDEY in the S3. Foreign moviegoers are used to lots of dancing in their movies. Look at the Bollywood films…

  6. Spidey was good enough for what it was. However, I know several fanboys who didn’t like the fact that Pete seemed to steel his webshooters from Ozcorp, and that it never used the “Great Power… Great Responsibility” line.

    I’m glad Dark Knight Rises did so well, in spite of the horrible things that maniac did in Colorado. I went and enjoyed DKR quite a bit, and plan to go again in a few weeks with my wife.

  7. So far, I preferred Spider-Man over Avengers, but haven’t seen Dark Knight yet. And also loved the look of Prometheus, but its story had more holes than a golf course.

    When I saw the comic book movies, it was always a Saturday afternoon, with just 10 people in the theatre.

    And (really) of those 10, there was ALWAYS a guy who would turn to me after the house lights came on and ask me what I thought of the movie, and want to discuss it deeply, there and then.

    We are comic fans, and we are gregarious.