I am not ultra plugged in to Hollywood, but am known to be more plugged in than most. For awhile I have been wondering if the new Batman movie could make a run at breaking Spider Man III’s opening box office record of 151 million dollars.
This great LA times article , predicts an opening in the $140 million range, but hints that breaking the record is possible.
“The follow-up to “Batman Begins” has gotten the heaviest hype yet from rabid fan websites such as Ain’t It Cool News, where the early consensus was that it makes “Citizen Kane” look like a student film. Thanks to boffo advance ticket sales this week, “The Dark Knight” has generated the most news releases ever from Fandango and MovieTickets.com. And it launches at an unprecedented 4,366 theaters in the U.S. and Canada, 94 of them Imax.”
However the article goes on to point to the movie’s release in the wake of Hellboy 2 and Hancock will be detrimental in challenging for the record. Mama Mia will also probably dig into the total as guys like my whipped roommate Casey might get dragged to see it over the Dark Knight.
My take: This movie was going to kill even without Ledger’s death and the terrific reviews. The viral marketing efforts and great reviews put the Dark Knight in great position to challenge. Launching in more theaters is a big key. I think its going to be close, with maybe weather and other regional factors playing the decisive role. Spider Man 3 was universally received as pretty terrible, so its my hope that Batman breaks the record.
Quick Note: Box office openings have never taken into consideration inflation. Below is the list of top time grossing movies when considering inflation. Notice none came out after 1982.
Adjusted for Inflation
1. Gone with the Wind
2. Star Wars
3. Sound of Music
5. Ten Commandments
8. Doctor Zhivago
10. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs