July 20-22 Weekend Actuals
1. Dark Knight Rises (Legendary/Warner Bros) NEW [4,404 Theaters] PG13
Friday $75.8M, Saturday $44.9M, Sunday $40.2M, Weekend $160.9M
2. Ice Age 4 (Blue Sky/Fox) Week 2 [3,886 Theaters] PG
Friday $6.8M, Saturday $7.8M, Sunday $5.9M, Weekend $20.4M (-56%)
Domestic Cume $88.8M Foreign Cume $438.0M, Global Cume $526.8M
3. Amazing Spider-Man (Columbia/Sony) Week 3 [3,753 Theaters] PG13
Friday $3.4M, Saturday $4.3M, Sunday $3.2M, Weekend $10.9M (-69%), Cume $228.6M
4. Ted (MRC/Universal) Week 4 [3,214 Theaters] R
Friday $3.2M, Saturday $3.9M, Sunday $2.9M, Weekend $10.0M (-55%), Cume $180.4M
5. Brave (Pixar/Disney) Week 5 [2,899 Theaters] PG
Friday $1.9M, Saturday $2.3M, Sunday $1.8M, Weekend $6.0M (46%), Cume $208.8M
6. Magic Mike (Warner Bros) Week 4 [2,606 Theaters] R
Friday $1.6M, Saturday $1.6M, Sunday $1.1M, Weekend $4.3M (-52%), Cume $102.0M
7. Savages (Universal) Week 3 [2,336 Theaters] R
Friday $1.0K, Saturday $1.3M, Sunday, $1.1M, Weekend $3.4M (-64%), Cume $40.1M
8. Madea’s Witness Protection (TPerry/Lionsgate) Week 4 [1,540 Theaters] PG13
Friday $713K, Saturday $949K,Sunday $591K, Weekend $2.3M (-60%), Cume $60.3M
9. Moonrise Kingdom (Focus Features) Week 9 [895 Theaters] PG13
Friday $557K, Saturday $748K, Sunday $527K, Weekend $1.8M (-51%), Cume $36.1M
10. To Room With Love (Sony Classics) Week 5 [552 Theaters] R
Friday $401K, Saturday $602K, $397K, Weekend $1.4M (-43%), Cume $11.1M
SUNDAY 11:30 PM, 14TH UPDATE: Tonight my sources see the domestic box office picking up a bit more than the estimates. The Dark Knight Rises domestic tally is now $161.8M but the actual numbers here and abroad will be released by Rentrak, as well as Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures, Overseas, Christopher Nolan’s final installment in his Batman trilogy opened #1 in the UK, Australia, Spain, and the rest of the total 9 countries where it opened. It raked in $A15.1 million in its first four days in Australia. That ranks as the 4th biggest opening weekend Down Under.
Here is the Top Five tally in North America after Sunday:
1. Dark Knight Rises (Legendary/Warner Bros) NEW [4,404 Theaters]
Friday $76.1M, Saturday $45.2M, Sunday $40.5M, Weekend $161.8M
2. Ice Age 4 (Blue Sky/Fox) Week 2 [3,886 Theaters]
Friday $6.6M, Saturday $7.6M, Sunday $3.3M, Weekend $20.3M (-57%)
Domestic Cume $88.8M, Foreign Cume $442.7M, Global Cume $531.5M
3. Amazing Spider-Man (Columbia/Sony) Week 3 [3,753 Theaters]
Friday $3.4M, Saturday $4.2M, Sunday $3.3M, Weekend $10.9M, Cume $228.7M
4. Ted (MRC/Universal) Week 4 [3,214 Theaters]
Friday $3.2M, Saturday $3.8M, Sunday $3.1M, Weekend $10.1M, Cume $180.4M
5. Brave (Pixar/Disney) Week 5 [2,899 Theaters]
Friday $1.9M, Saturday $2.2M, Sunday $1.8M, Weekend $6.0M, Cume $208.8M
SUNDAY 9:20 AM, 13TH UPDATE: It may seem callous to post about less-than-packed theaters around the country and North American and worldwide box office this weekend after the Colorado movie theater tragedy. And of course our hearts go out to those killed and wounded. (I stayed up all Friday post-midnight/pre-dawn reporting on the shooting as the horrendous event unfolded.) But this is an entertainment business website that tracks movie grosses. And so many filmmakers inside and outside Hollywood worked exhaustively on The Dark Knight Rises — just as they do on every pic released each year — that the final product should be examined for its success vis a vis ticket sales. Warner Bros Pictures has decided not to release its box office results this weekend until Monday. Also some other studios. Rentrak won’t report worldwide estimates. That said, there can be no doubt that Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures last installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is huge in terms of domestic grosses. In fact the entire moviegoing weekend should be up around +35% over last year, demonstrating the resilience of the public and their love for watching films in the shared experience of a movie theater. Hopefully, with more security provided, the emotional distress and financial setback caused by one psychotic gunman won’t be permanent for theater chains. But the entire movie industry’s shock and grieving over the Aurora tragedy is real and intense. Although the national and international debate over the sociological effect of film violence will be ongoing — and necessary. Now, back to business.
Business was gargantuan Friday but definitely off Saturday and may be off Sunday, too. I was told Friday night there were a lot of admissions still to count. On Saturday morning my sources said The Dark Knight Rises brought in $77.2 million Friday (give or take one million) from 4,404 domestic theaters. Now that Friday number has been adjusted to $76.1M as either more theaters reported a lesser number, or refunds hit the books. Either way, when looking at it closely this morning, it went down a little. That is still the 3rd all-time opening day and the best 2D single day. There was indeed a huge -41% drop Saturday mostly because of those $30.6M in midnight shows (including $2.2M IMAX grosses) which expanded Friday’s tally. Previous installment The Dark Knight dropped -29% its Saturday. I can now tell you that The Dark Knight Rises made $46.2M Saturday and is projected at $39.3M Sunday (-12%). My sources now say the 3-day weekend cume looks around $161.1M with the caveat that the Colorado tragedy may have an impossible-to-predict effect until Monday actuals. This could still be the largest grossing 2D North American opening weekend ever, past 2008’s The Dark Knight at $158M. However, despite the “like nothing ever happened” box office momentum which Warner Bros saw Friday morning, it is clear that Dark Knight Rises numbers won’t be record-breaking overall. Yes, because of pre-sales, midnights shattered the $18.4M generated by Marvel’s The Avengers earlier this summer. But The Dark Knight Rises didn’t beat Avengers‘ $80.5M Friday and won’t come near Avengers‘ all-time $207.4M collected from 2D, Digital 3D, RealD, and IMAX 3D.
Here’s the rest of the Top Ten list based on weekend estimates:
6. Magic Mike (Warner Bros) Week 4 [2,606 Theaters]
Friday $1.6M, Saturday $1.5M, Weekend $4.3M, Cume $102.0M
7. Savages (Universal) Week 3 [2,336 Theaters]
Friday $990K, Saturday $1.2M, Weekend $3.3M, Cume $40.0M
8. Madea’s Witness Protection (TPerry/Lionsgate) Week 4 [1,540 Theaters]
Friday $744K, Saturday $984K, Weekend $2.3M, Cume $60.4M
9. Moonrise Kingdom (Focus Features) Week 9 [895 Theaters]
Friday $551K, Saturday $741K, Weekend $1.8M, Cume $36.1M
10. To Room With Love (Sony Classics) Week 5 [552 Theaters]
Friday $401K, Saturday $602K, Weekend $1.5M, Cume $11.2M
FRIDAY 6 PM, 9TH UPDATE: No major box office changes to report except that The Dark Knight Rises is running less today than Marvel’s The Avengers but had more midnight business. So the two films are running neck and neck. As of 6 PM, The Dark Knight Rises in 4,404 domestic theaters was Friday $80M and weekend $180M estimates.
EXCLUSIVE… FRIDAY 2 PM, 8TH UPDATE: Based on matinee projections, The Dark Knight Rises is looking to open with a gargantuan $80M-85M today (which includes $30.6M from midnights). That’s about even with Marvel’s The Avengers opening Friday of $80.5M. Hollywood is making weekend projections of $180M-$200M but Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures remain mute.
EXCLUSIVE… FRIDAY 12 PM, 7TH UPDATE: Warner Bros sources tell me now they’re seeing no decrease in movie ticket grosses for The Dark Knight Rises. “What happened in Colorado is a tragedy, make no mistake about it. But East Coast numbers are coming in like nothing ever happened. We grossed half a million dollars by 10 AM just in Manhattan.” One reason for that is because most of today’s grosses, and a good portion of this weekend’s, consisted of $30M in pre-sales. So whether moviegoers show up or not to the theaters doesn’t matter: they still paid for their tickets. The real-time effect of the Aurora movie theater shooting likely won’t be felt at the box office until Saturday at the earliest and more likely Sunday and next week and next weekend as pre-release sales decrease. “One incident, as horrific as it is, does not necessarily cause people to want to change their patterns,” a Warner Bros exec explained to me. “Young people still want to go to movie theaters and they still want to see this movie.”
Meanwhile, the official North American midnights number for The Dark Knight Rises is public now: it opened with $30.640M from 3,825 locations (for $8,010 per location). Included in the overall total are IMAX grosses of $2.232M from 330 locations (for $7,041 per location). This 2D midnights number shatters the $18.4M midnights generated by 3D Marvel’s The Avengers earlier this summer. Still, with international grosses from 9 countries totalling $10.4M, that’s already $71M worldwide for the mega-pic before it’s even in wide release today. Remember that the largest grossing 2D North American opening weekend ever remains 2008’s The Dark Knight at $158M – and there’s no doubt The Dark Knight Rises will beat that. (Not adjusted for inflation or higher ticket prices). But can it beat Avengers‘ all-time $207.4M collected from 2D, Digital 3D, RealD, and IMAX 3D theaters?
At its widest release, The Dark Knight Rises will debut in 4,404 domestic theaters from Friday through Sunday, including 332 IMAX locations. Hollywood now believes chances are slim that The Dark Knight Rises now can beat The Avengers weekend record because of the fear, panic, and security concerns resulting from today’s movie theater shooting. [And, yes, I know it seems callous for me to post about the tragedy in relationship to box office. But this is an entertainment business website that tracks movie grosses.]
EXCLUSIVE… FRIDAY 6:30 AM, 6TH UPDATE: I’ve just learned that Warner Bros’ and Legendary Pictures’ 2D The Dark Knight Rises is “headed north of $28M” for its 3,700 midnight showings of the pic.
EXCLUSIVE… FRIDAY 3 AM, 5TH UPDATE: Fans waited in long lines for hours despite the sweltering heat and the torrential rains in some parts of North America just to attend one of the 3,700 Thursday midnight show locations for Warner Bros’ and Legendary Pictures’ 2D The Dark Knight Rises. Now my sources are tracking this final installment of Chris Nolan’s Batman trilogy to open with a whopping $27+M. “The West Coast is still selling tickets with some theatres adding 3 AM shows,” a Warner Bros exec told me. “This is effing huge!” The Dark Knight Rises’ 2D midnights number shatters the $18.4M midnights generated by 3D Marvel’s The Avengers earlier this summer. With pre-sales of $30M and international grosses from 9 countries totalling $10.4M, that’s already $67.4M worldwide for the mega-pic before it’s even in wide release. Hollywood began emailing me they thought this weekend could generate between $185M-$210M in domestic grosses and possibly set a new weekend record.
But then tragedy struck. Colorado’s mass shooting happened around 12:39 AM today leaving 14 dead and 50 wounded after a lone gunman opened fire in a packed suburban movie theater at the Aurora Town Center where The Dark Knight Rises was showing just after midnight. Now no one in the movie business knows how this terrible event will affect box office today. Despite isolated incidents, nothing on this horrific scale has ever occurred inside film theaters. “Not what you expect to happen when you’re waiting in line to go to the blockbuster film of the summer,” one local TV anchor told viewers.
Moviegoers at first thought the gunshots were part of the film’s action sequences. Police told TV stations the shooting was first reported at 12:39 AM after the gunman “just appeared” from the front of Theater 9. Then police arrived and found the suspect in the rear of the theater. The adult male attired in protective gear had a rifle and two other guns when he was taken into custody, authorities said.
In other parts of the country, first fans lined up for hours ahead of time to see The Dark Knight Rises at the midnight screenings at NYC’s AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 Theater. Scalpers had been selling those tickets for $65 and as much as $100 for days prior. At the AMC Uptown in Washington, crowds endured torrential rain and lightning but kept standing in line even when the theater didn’t open its doors on time.
THURSDAY 7:15 PM, 4TH UPDATE: The Dark Knight Rises began its international release Thursday by “dominating everywhere”, according to my sources. I’ve learned the foreign gross so far is an incredible $10.4M from only 9 countries. This is 83% higher than 2008’s The Dark Knight in the same markets. (Not calculating for inflation and higher ticket prices.) The 3 key territories that opened today were: Australia AUD$3.66M (US$3.74M) from 628 screens. That’s 60% ahead of The Dark Knight‘s opening day. “This is particularly spectacular considering that today is not a holiday versus TDK’s holiday opening day,” an exec tells me. As good as Chris Nolan’s Batpic finale’s opening day is, it was well below Marvel’s The Avengers, which smashed the Australian box office on its opening day of release with a record breaking AUD$6M (USD$6.2M). Of course Avengers was 3D and also opened on one of Australia’s biggest holidays: ANZAC. Whereas The Dark Knight Rises opening didn’t include a holiday. And Korea KRW 3.15b (US$2.7m) from 1059 screens, which is 131% higher than The Dark Knight‘s opening. And Taiwan NT$ 26.3m (US$878k) from 228 screens, which is 175% ahead of The Dark Knight. Australia began The Dark Knight Rises foreign rollout: Warner Bros this coming weekend is releasing into only 17 international markets, representing 6,300 screens. These include 4 of the Top Ten markets: UK, Spain, Australia, and Korea.
THURSDAY 6 PM, 3RD UPDATE: A Warner Bros executive just told me, The Dark Knight Rises is tearing up the box office at midnight. It should pass Marvel’s The Avengers‘ $18.7M as the largest superhero midnight show of all time.” And remember: Avengers also holds the domestic record for the largest opening weekend gross. Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ mega-movie has 2,500 sold-out showtimes on Fandango, and today is trending to be one of that big online ticket vendor’s top-selling Thursdays in the company’s 12–year history. Most interesting is that Chris Nolan’s Batman trilogy finale is outpacing the early summer blockbuster Marvel’s The Avengers in ticket sales at the same point in Fandango’s sales cycle. “Today’s ticket sales are relentless, just like the action in the movie,” a Fandango executive just told me. Disney began releasing Avengers in Digital 3D, RealD and IMAX 3D after midnight into about 2,500 locations around the U.S. and Canada, and some theaters kept playing it around the clock into the wee hours. Whether The Dark Knight Rises will screen 24/7 on Friday will depend on how many theaters can convince staff to work overtime. This actioner opens in a whopping 3,700 midnight domestic locations. Like the big theater chain did with Avengers, AMC will be hosting a special showings in IMAX and 2D – the entire Batman trilogy beginning at 6 PM for $40/$25 complete with commorative poster and special lanyard. At its widest release, The Dark Knight Rises will debut in 4,404 domestic theaters from Friday through Sunday, including 332 IMAX locations.
EXCLUSIVE THURSDAY, 2ND UPDATE: According to Fandango, domestic box office online ticket sales for Warner Bros’ and Legendary Pictures’ The Dark Knight Rises currently represents 91% of Thursday’s ticket sales. MovieTickets pegged their number at 87.5% for Wednesday. Earlier this week, Fandango surveyed the pic’s ticket-buyers and discovered that: 97% said the darker tone made them more interested in seeing the movie, 89% claimed the new villain Bane made them excited to see the film, 72% consider themselves fans of director Christopher Nolan, 62% said they’re excited by the fact that more than an hour of the film was shot in IMAX, and 58% said that Christian Bale was the actor they most preferred as Batman.
Warner Bros should be announcing the first foreign box office results. The Dark Knight Rises opens in only 17 international markets this weekend, representing 6,300 screens. These include 4 of the Top Ten movie markets: UK, Spain, Australia, and Korea.
In North America, I can report exclusively that The Dark Knight Rises has already banked $25M in pre-sales.
EXCLUSIVE WEDNESDAY: Here we go again! Another gigantic Hollywood comic book blockbuster opening just after Thursday’s clocks strike midnight. But can The Dark Knight Rises beat Marvel’s The Avengers in weekend grosses and records? Some moguls are telling me no, some moguls are telling me yes. Remember that the largest grossing 2D North American opening weekend ever remains 2008’s The Dark Knight at $158M – and there’s no doubt The Dark Knight Rises will best that by a lot, maybe as much as $195+M. (Not adjusted for inflation or higher ticket prices). But can it best Avengers‘ all-time $207.4M collected from 2D, Digital 3D, RealD, and IMAX 3D theaters? In summary, the reasons pro are: kids are out of school, people are on vacation, this is the last and scariest of the series. The reasons con are: it’s only a 2D movie whereas Avengers made 52% of its money from 3D, it has a 21-minute longer running time than Avengers’, this is a movie about one caped crusader with no superpowers whereas Avengers was billed as the ‘Superhero Team-Up Of A Lifetime’, it’s following both Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man this summer, and the Viacom-DirecTV battle has prevented a lot of Dark Knight Rises TV ads from appearing. Now the only question is how big is big for this $250M film?
MovieTickets.com tells me the pic scooped up 80% of all online ticket sales for Tuesday and Fandango 85%. (The figure for Avengers was 95% for that Thursday.) MovieTickets surveys found that, of the people aware of The Dark Knight Rises, 78% said they would see it opening weekend. Overall, on a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being little or no interest and 5 being significant interest in seeing it in a movie theater, it averaged 4.8 out of 5 for intent to see. Scalpers reportedly are re-selling The Dark Knight Rises’ midnight IMAX tickets for $65-$100 apiece on both Craigslist and StubHub for NYC’s AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13. — higher even than for Avengers. Yet this may be my favorite Dark Knight Rises pre-release factoid so far: “All the major circuits have asked for more frequent pickups from their Brink’s Truck drivers to deposit the record amount of cash they are anticipating,” a Warner Bros exec told me today.
This final installment in its Batman trilogy directed by Chris Nolan will be playing in a whopping 3,700 midnight locations around North America and then 4,404 domestic theaters from Friday through Sunday including 332 IMAX locations. (Nolan utilized IMAX cameras for an hour of the footage from the film. That’s even more extensively than he did on The Dark Knight, the first time ever that a major feature film was partially shot with IMAX cameras.) But don’t expect a gigantic foreign number right away. Remember that Disney’s international gross of $441.5M was collected because The Avengers played almost everywhere around the globe for the first 12 days including Friday in Russia ($17.9M) and Saturday in China ($17.4M). By contrast, Warner Bros this coming weekend is releasing The Dark Knight Rises into only 17 international markets, representing 6,300 screens. These include 4 of the Top Ten movie markets: UK, Spain, Australia, and Korea. The Dark Knight Rises already has taken £1 million in advance booking at BFI IMAX, breaking all previous sales records.
The studio will open another 40 markets over the second weekend and include all major markets with the exception of Italy (August) and China where The China Film Group, which sets release dates for U.S. films, wants to pit The Dark Knight Rises against Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man on August 30th. “That August date is not written in stone, and we are in talks with China Film to find a date that works for everybody,” a Warner Bros exec tells Deadline. “Warner Bros would never not release the film in China.” In total overseas, the film is projected to show on approximately 20,000 foreign screens.
Meanwhile Nolan has been hating on the pre-release comparisons of his pic with Avengers: “I don’t want to be just a superhero movie. I want to be our movie,” he told EW. “But I don’t want to seem arrogant, either. I just want people to come into the theater with only the two previous [Batman] movies in their heads.” As for this finale, Nolan said “The Lord of the Rings trilogy was in the back of our minds the entire time we were making these. There are very few great third films. There are certain third films that exist to fulfill a requirement for a sequel. I wanted a third film that had something to say, that was a conclusion to a larger story.”