Monday, April 12, 2010

The Ten Most Impressive Box Office Runs of 2000s (No. 8)

Apologize for the delay; had a couple of hectic weeks.  I do plan to go through the rest of the list in a more brisk pace to have all revealed before the summer starts.  Anyway, let's get right to it.

The Dark Knight (2008)

  - The biggest opening weekend ever ($158.4m), including the biggest Friday at the time ($67.2m) and the biggest Sunday ($43.6m)
  - The biggest non-holiday Monday ($24.5m)
  - Finished as the second biggest film all-time ($533.3m)
  - 160% increase over its predecessor, Batman Begins

Predictions Comparison:
  - BOG: $132m; BOM Derby: $137.4m; myself - $142m

Sequels tend to have an inherent disadvantage when coming to impressiveness since most of them were made because the original became successful, and by default they carry high expectations.  It is a reason why only two sequels immediately came to mind when I started compiling the candidates for the list.  However, when they are able to exceed the expectation by a significant margin, one becomes very appreciative of the occurrence.  In the case of The Dark Knight, a lot of the numbers are simply staggering, but what will always define its run for me is its first four days.  Let's recap them:

  - Opening Friday: $67.2m, including $18.5m from midnight alone.  Beating Spider-Man 3's opening day was thought to be possible since TDK was debuting in July instead of early May, but it achieved way more, extending the record by 12%
  - First Saturday: $47.7m, meaning it decreased a mere 2% from Friday without midnight.  By comparison, Pirates of the Caribbean 2, which was also launched in July, decreased 9% on its first Friday-to-Saturday.
  - First Sunday: $43.6m, the start of two of the most ridiculous days ever.  That represents an 8.5% drop from Saturday, the best Sunday hold of any $80m+ openers (even better than the three films that started on the long Memorial Day weekend) and one of the best Sunday holds ever period.
  - First Monday: $24.5m, -43.8%.  There is no doubt in my mind that this is the most impressive figure of its entire run.  When I first saw it reported on forum, I thought it was a misprint.  POTC2, by comparison, dropped 48.7%.  And when combining it with the minuscule Sunday decline, we would see that its first Sat-to-Mon drop was less than 50%, and the feat was achieved without any holiday help.

The week before Pirates of the Caribbean 2 opened, I was able to predict its record-setting opening to the dot by analyzing the numbers against the Shrek franchise, and more people foresaw Spider-Man 3's start, but few saw The Dark Knight's record setting pace coming.  I personally only gave it 10% chance of breaking SM3's record the night before it opened.  Then by its first Tuesday, $500m+ was 95% guaranteed.  If the 65% increase Shrek 2 put on over its original is impressive (and it definitely is), what would we say about the 160% increase The Dark Knight achieved over Batman Begins?  To put that number in perspective, in order to achieve a similar jump, Iron Man 2 will need to gross $828m, while Toy Story 3 will have to reach $639m.

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