Friday Box-Office: 'Dark Knight Rises' Drops Big in Second Weekend Start

The Dark Knight Rises posterYikes, estimates place the second Friday box-office for The Dark Knight Rises at $18 million, down a whopping 76% from last Friday's opening. Obviously, the first Friday for any major blockbuster is going to be massively front-loaded given midnight screenings and anticipation, but I can't say I expected this steep of a drop.

There is, however, one factor that could have played a role, that is the opening ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics, which posted massive ratings (highest rated non-US opening ceremony ever) were dominating the airwaves and social media streams and yet, I can't help but believe there is an unfortunate black cloud over this film. There is no way to think about The Dark Knight Rises without thinking of the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado and I have a hard time believing that incident won't continue to have an effect on the film's box-office performance.

On a side note, Hans Zimmer composed a song, with which 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Aurora Victim Relief organization through You can find it right here, but I have continually had an issue getting it to load. Hopefully you have better luck.

In second is 3-D newcomer Step Up Revolution bringing in $4.8 million, which continues the franchise's continued opening weekend slide since the first installment back in 2006. It's likely to bring in around $13-14 million for the three-day, down from 2010's Step Up 3-D.

Next we come to Fox's sci-fi comedy The Watch, which is another film connected with tragedy as it changed its title from The Neighborhood Watch following the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin back in February. How much of an effect the coincidence had on the film's box-office is impossible to quantify, but $4.5 million out of the starting gates isn't a big debut as it's looking at something like an $11-12 million weekend.

I've included the top nine (via Box Office Mojo) directly below and will be back tomorrow morning with a weekend wrap up.

  1. The Dark Knight Rises - $18 million
  2. Step Up Revolution - $4.8 million
  3. The Watch - $4.5 million
  4. Ice Age: Continental Drift - $4 million
  5. Ted - $2.2 million
  6. The Amazing Spider-Man - $1.9 million
  7. Brave - $1.2 million
  8. Magic Mike - $870,000
  9. Savages - $481,000
  • Winchester

    Steeper than I figured.

    The reasons why this film will not perform in excess of TDK are going to be debated for a long while yet. Depending on one's opinion of it.

  • bryan

    Who gives a shit about box office crap....the movie is still badass

    • Brad Brevet

      I think you do, which would be why you clicked on the headline. Unless it was purely so you could make this comment, which would be weird because it adds nothing to any kind of constructive conversation.

      • Dan

        Haha. Well-said, Mr. Brevet. Owned.

        • Roy

          That's some pretty impressive brown nosing, Dan. Maybe Bryan's comment about the irrelevance of box office numbers is confined to this film and the following context. It's not like we the viewers need it to be a dramatic financial success to ensure the production of sequels-like, say, for Prometheus or TASM. This movie will still earn a ton of money, if not quite as much as expected. Warner will be fine. Nolan will survive and make more terrific pictures no matter what. Lastly, its box office performance shouldn't affect any intelligent fan's perception of the quality of the film.

      • Dave ewan

        I went and saw the dark night rises and on the whole I was very disappointed. Not enough action, "the cat" can't act! Every time she sat on a bike or whatever she tried to look like a page 3 model. Not that I was upset at seeing her. Although Bain was an ok villain the story lacked any plot. Why would Bain and the girl want to destroy Gotham, I didn't understand that really. Her father tried to kill her yet she wants to avenge him! The only reason batman has done as well as it did is because of publicity, and it's batman! I expected more of the same with a bandstand finish. I have seen spiderman also it was pretty drab. A love story with a little action but at least scene was set and they stayed true to the Cartoon although it was too lovey. The avengers done well because it was so much better than these. People told I must go see, I did. Twice. And will probably go again as the DVD ain't out for months.

      • Tim

        You shouldn't be a writer. The article has it's faults, but the last sentence of this reply is just laughable.

        • Brad Brevet

          YEAH! Take that! Wait... what?

      • David C.

        I understand what he means . Box office nbers don't give a movie merit. As long as a movie has lasting power emotionally which the dark knight rises does then I agree: who gives a shit? It's not like the movie goers benefit. I don't work for Warner bros. I liked it, those who saw it have mostly liked it and it's got great reviews. Let's all stop being number whores but then again movie sites need post hits so I'll stop hating.

    • Criterion10

      I think this is a potential #GoodComments here...

  • Colin

    The openning ceremonies were spectacular. Not as good as China's, but a superbly produced show. With a much more badass spot for Skyfall, which has been rumored to be a serious Oscar player this year.

    There are a combination of forces working against Rises, but I thoght I was going pretty low with my 60 million prediction. Guess I was wrong.

  • Jack

    Very disappointing for The Dark Knight Rises, though I predicted it would only bring in around $55 million. If it holds on, it might reach $400 million domestic, but I truly doubt it. Who knows what the cause was-the olympics, the shooting, the disappointment people felt though it did score an A cinemascore, lack of excitement, maybe.

    I bet Warner Bros are sitting around really wondering if a third go around with the Bat was really worth it.

  • Brane

    Some people are still afraid to go the movies.

  • AS

    Oh, I sooo told you so. People are gonna say "oh, it was the Olympics" or "people are afraid." I call bullshit! I think most audiences were extremely let down by the film and the BO is reflecting that. As I walked out of the theater I said to myself: "God, if I was bored during that then how are the masses ever going to get through it." It's impossible to determine, of course, why exactly people aren't going, but I'm convinced that I'm right. There's no re-watchability with this film. Every week it's going to get worse and worse. If the shooting theory held water, then after a while people would come out and see it. But that's not going to happen. Also, the shooting wouldn't effect repeat business. If people already went to go see it once after the shooting, they wouldn't be afraid to go see it again if they really wanted to. The issue is that they clearly don't.


    • AS

      Question: How the hell is this movie going to recoup its budget? If it had a budget of $250 million, then you double it to account for marketing and you're at $500 million. But the studio only gets 50% of the box office take... so the film would have to make $1 billion just to brake even. And it clearly won't make a billion so... wouldn't that make it a loss?

      • Colin

        AS, there are a shit ton of ways for films to recoup financing outside of ticket sales. They will, if not already, make a killing in merchandising. And marketting costs were likley more towards 150 million to maybe 200 million. They will be in the black before the home market.

      • Vincent

        Marketing/distribution pushed the total cost of the film just north of $400 million, but not to 500. Additionally, because of the success of 'The Dark Knight', Warner Bros' deal with domestic theater chains entails that the studio receives nearly 100% of the opening weekend box office dollars, as compared to the 33.7% that Disney kept for the first weekend of 'The Avengers'. Subsequent weeks and weekends tilt increasingly more in favor of the theater chains (by week three or four, exhibitors are taking the majority percentage), but for a front-loaded threequel release like this one, a 50/50 split isn't quite accurate. Still, your point is well-taken: the higher the budget and marketing costs in Hollywood soar, the huger the movie's profits must be to make the venture successful. But that financial risk is softened by the conglomeration with ancillary markets (television/home video/digital sales+rentals/merchandising), so even an $800 million global take for 'Dark Knight Rises' would qualify it as a success for the studio, if not an overwhelming one like 'The Dark Knight' or 'The Avengers' for Disney.

      • Fred

        No no no. It would have to make $500M to brake even with a budget of $250M budget. A film of this scale would cost $100M is distribution & publicity. So in total it needs to make $$700M. Considering its already made nearly half a billion & 'WILL' make more than a billion I think we can safely say it will be a big success. Wether you like it or not!

        • AS

          I like it, but that's beside the point.

          I'm basing my estimations off of Brad and Laremy's 2.5 multiplier. Actually, I just doubled mine. If I went by their system, the projected marking budget would be even higher than I estimated. Where are you coming up with your "$100 million" marketing budget? Because from what I understand, that seems extremely low for a film this big.

          • Michael B

            The 2.5 multiplier is nonsense. If 2.5x the budget was needed, then films such as X-Men First Class and Snow White and the Huntsman would be considered failures and wouldn't be getting sequels. Also, many other sequels such as Hellboy 2 and Ghost Rider 2 wouldn't have been made. As a matter of fact, Batman Begins didn't even make back 2.5x its budget.

          • Winchester

            @ Micheal - true if looking at it from a purely box office perspective. But obviously in addition to the box office as Colin mentions there are also other ways in which films make money (dvd/blu-ray sales, TV sales, merchandise etc) on top of theatrical revenues.

            The 2.5 multiplier is perfectly reasonable in and of itself because no-one ever knows exactly what a studio spends to the last penny on any film, let alone a huge tentpole like TDKR, but not every film will necessarily make it on box office alone.

          • AS

            I don't pretend to be an authority on budget estimations. I've just gone with the B&L system since they seem to know more about it then me.

    • Yaz

      #TheTruth... who are you? Seriously. You speak for yourself and that's great, but don't assume everyone agrees with your thoughts on the film. It's not doing TDK numbers, that doesn't mean it's shit. You can call bullshit on it all you want, but to think the shootings didn't have an effect on BO is garbage - doesn't matter if it was last week or this week - it had an effect on where the film is now and how it's doing business. To not acknowledge that just so you can call the film weak is pretty irrational.

      As for re-watchability, I've already seen it twice and I know many others who have as well. It wasn't your kind of film, fine. But that's your OPINION. Doesn't make it 'the truth'.

      • AS

        Okay, take a moment, catch your breath and calm down. The whole "#TheTruth" thing was meant to be semi-sarcastic. Again, I'm not saying that the shooting didn't have an effect, I'm saying the effect has been exaggerated to a tremendous degree. I offered MY take on why I think the drop was so steep.

        As far as you and your friends are concerned, you're clearly in the minority. The numbers indicate as much, and that was my point.

        • John Debono

          The movie has a 87% on RT, A cinemascore, 93% from flixster and is currently rated #10 on IMDB and before the shooting was tracking to top Avengers in overall ticket sales. Nothing is doing particularly well right now and while TDKR was not as good as TDK, it still is a well-liked movie. With so many other factors to consider, it is rather simplistic to blame the film's relatively disappointing BO on it being a bad movie.

          • AS

            I am not blaming the drop SOLELY on on the idea that people were underwhelmed. Again, I can only say this so many times: there were obviously other contributing factors to the films drop, but my stance is that I feel those other factors have been exaggerated while I seem to be the only person whose even introducing the idea that the film hasn't performed as well due to audience disappointment. And as I've said before, RT scores are ultimately meaningless.

          • Fred

            That's your opinion. Not a fact & should not be reported as such. This film is doing well & you are distorting facts for your own sake. Don't put words into other peoples mouths.

        • Vincent

          The numbers indicate a drop, which is attributable to both the effect of a highly-publicized (not wrongfully so) tragedy and the once-in-four-years airing of the Olympics, the latter of which may offer a more secure and home-based source of entertainment for many of those made uncomfortable by the former. To attribute the drop primarily or largely to word-of-mouth would be the same as attributing the film's inability to reach its first-weekend expectations to audience disappointment, even though the audience hadn't even seen the film at that point. Your feelings about the film are of course valid, and it may be true that some of the drop indicates less audience enthusiasm for this installment than its predecessor, but the film acquired an "A" Cinemascore in its opening weekend, so a drop as steep as 76% seems much more likely to hinge on other contributing factors. I personally have seen the film once, but know many people who have already viewed it multiple times. Again, it is not the zeitgeist success of 'The Dark Knight', to be sure, but it seems easy and ignorant of the facts at hand to attribute a steep drop to audience disappointment based on your own personal disappointment.

          • AS

            "not wrongfully so" - What do you mean by that?

            I don't feel like posting the same comment twice so read my above response.

        • John Debono

          If I may, I think the reason why people get frustrated with your theory has nothing to do with fanboy nature and about disregarding the general public opinion. You got your expected results, but the logic is overall flawed. I personally think that TDKR is a mild disappointment but a good movie overall but I cannot deny that those who have seen it like the movie based on statistics.
          The reason why the shootings are seen as a major influence because nothing like this has happened at the debut of a film and hopefully it never happens again. If this event happened at the opening of John Carter or That's My Boy, your WOM claim would make sense, but from the best access to processed data we have, the actual movie is not the problem.

    • Central Ohio

      I took my nine year old at midnight and he loved it. Sat through the whole thing no problem.

    • drew

      I agree with AS, this film is nowhere near as good as DK, and it isn't gonna quite get the broad audience that DK got. Every conversation I have heard on DKR begins with some sort of variation on "it's not as good as the Dark Knight,I mean its a great movie, just not as great as Dark Knight was," which to my ears plays as a negative review compared to talk about DK 4 years ago, where it was all "Oh my good! You haven't seen it yet! Its the best action movie ever!"

      • AS

        But I'm not one of those guys who compares everything to TDK. I like TDK, it's a great movie and all, but it's not god's gift to cinema. A gigantic reason why that film was so good was Ledger and the dialogue Nolan wrote for him. When I say I was disappointed by TDKR, I'm not comparing it to TDK. I was disappointed in it as a film.

    • Fred

      Wrong! The reviews are great & it's doing big box office.

      • AS

        Well, this is going nowhere. I'm clearly in a pissing match with a bunch of Batman fanboys.

        • Yaz

          You're not really. But you're not making clear points either. You're just throwing around a lot of opinion. You can't prove what's really going on when it comes to the numbers anymore than we can. Too many variables at play.

          A perfect example - to say my friends and I are in the minority who are re-watching it.... How can you say that? What's not to say that a majority of the numbers earned on Friday were from second viewings? You can't prove it - so why say it?

          • AS

            "You can't prove what's really going on when it comes to the numbers anymore than we can. Too many variables at play." - I completely agree with that and I've said as much several times. It is impossible to be certain about what exactly effected the BO. I'm with you. However, that doesn't stop people from saying things like "it's because of the shooting!!" or "it's because of the Olympics!!" You can't prove that anymore than I can prove that people were disappointed with it but for some reason I'm the only person whose getting taken to task for my speculation. This seems like a double standard to me...

    • AJR

      you call bullshit and that is fine. I work at a movie theater and have had several people comment that the only reason they are walking through the doors is because we have a police officer there on busy nights. people are afraid. it is sad but it is true. i dont think this is the only reason people didnt go see it. i went with a huge group and we were about 50 50 in liking it or disliking it. but i still the the fact of what happened in aurora has a huge effect on the BO.

      • AS

        Well then it's a shame that people are so easily manipulated by the media.

  • Vincent

    A likely weekend total of $58-60 million is a steep drop indeed, but nobody should be surprised. The film and the industry in general is suffering (this weekend's box office looks to be down 30% from last year) in the wake of the shooting, combined with the audience-stealing effect of the Olympics. But by any industry standard, 'Dark Knight Rises' is still doing big business, and I don't believe anyone at Warner Bros is wondering if a third Nolan Bat movie was worth it. This thing will pocket at least 350-375 domestic, as well as anywhere from 400-500 million international. It won't be quite the juggernaut that its immediate predecessor was, but a 750-900 million global haul (plus merchandising/television/home video sales) won't qualify this entry as anything less than a success in financial terms. It's possible that the media storm surrounding Heath Ledger's death made 'The Dark Knight' a basis for inflated numbers, and that 'The Dark Knight Rises' never would have quite reached that film's overwhelming level of success. But it is also likely that, no matter your opinion of the film, this third entry would have accounted for a considerably larger box office tally if not for the tragedy in Aurora. Not that box office numbers for a major corporation's movie release should be anyone's primary concern in the wake of those shootings, but in the pure analysis of the numbers, the effect seems undeniable. But TDKR is not a flop, no matter how you cut it or what headlines you may write about it.

  • Leandro Dubost

    Too bad this movie is being affected by such an unfortunate tragedy.

  • Winchester

    Although clearly it won't outdo TDK it should still finish in excess of $400 million domestic. Now, in fairness it's been on a slower international roll-out so so far international figures are far from finished, so I would say that until we see how it holds internationally getting to a billion isn't impossible.

    But obviously TDK just scraped it last time, so it's not a slam dunk. And given what WB blew on it they HAD to have been assuming getting well over that benchmark was foregone.

  • Ian

    Mmk, how about some constructive criticism instead of railing about how bad the movie is? I was more than a little disappointed with it, but I'm still going to see it again tonight to see how it holds up. It will obviously be less frontloaded this weekend, so it should hit $60 million or a bit more...that's a 60%+ drop, so obviously not impressive. But as far as tearing its financial situation apart and saying it's going to be a loss for the studio...come on. It will still easily surpass $400 million domestically. Funny enough, The Hunger Games is an interesting comparison, since it will have made within $10 million of that film in each of its first two weekends, with a similar drop. But of course, this being summer, weekday totals are much stronger. It will be around $285 million give or take after tomorrow, about $40 million ahead of The Hunger Games at the same point. I don't expect it to level out quite the way The Hunger Games did, so $450 million is probably a long shot, but to say it won't reach $400 million just has no basis at this point at all. And on the international front, it's a gradual rollout, so it will take the numbers a while to catch up. But international multipliers are up dramatically from where they were four years ago, particularly in regards to comic book films. The Dark Knight made less internationally, but this will almost certainly make a bit more. Just look at The Avengers...$600 million plus domestically, $800 million plus international. The Dark Knight Rises should do the same from a percentage perspective, so should still hit $1 billion, and outgross The Dark Knight worldwide. And with a $250 million budget, the most it would possibly need to break even (using universally accepted rules) is $750 million, a number it will easily surpass. Claiming it will end up a loss is just willful ignorance.

  • Torry’s

    I completely agree with you. I didn't think TDKR was very good. People will probably see it once but not a second time like Avengers. It's sad really. I wanted to like it.

  • Roger

    To say that the drop is solely a result of "Bad word of mouth" is ridiculous. I'm not saying there's not a group of people who were underwhelmed, let down, or flat out just didn't like it, but that seems to be the opinion of only a very vocal minority given the feedback from critics, Cinemascore, and fansites such as Flixster and Yahoo. The consensus seems to be "It's good, not as good as TDK, but good nonetheless", so it's not utter garbage like Spiderman 3, Shrek 3, or Pirates 3.

    The marketplace was set for a huge splash, but an immensely tragic event clubbed it in the knee, hell, both knees just as it got out of the gate. Of course let's pause and get it out there that whatever money lost in the box office pales to the countless lives lost and affected. Thoughts and prayers to them.

    It wasn't just TDKR that was affected, everything else in release was too. The tragedy is still fresh in people's minds and some might not be ready to come back yet, and if they do, they probably won't be in the mood for dark, gritty, and violent fare. Some people will argue that "Well, people still flew and went to school after so and so shootings", but that's not a fair comparison. Schools and Air travel (save for vacation purposes) are a necessity for people. On the other hand, going to the movies is purely a leisure event.

    Years down the road, TDKR's box office will be seen in the eyes of B.O. prognosticators and watchers with a big fat asterisk next to it. No other film had to deal with such an unprecedented tragic event that will now be forever tied to it. As for the numbers, TDKR will still make 400mil domestic. The worst case scenario is a 2.5 opening weekend multiplier and that gets it to 402mil and change. It could gross a bit more if it gets some late legs but one cannot underestimate the kind of draw the Olympics is on TV these next 2 weeks. Looks like the Opening Ceremony was huge on US TV. The movie is still a success financially and critically, and we will all just be left to ask ourselves "What If" for the rest of time.

  • Chris138

    I think the Colorado shootings not only affected TDKR and how much it makes but also every other movie in theaters right now. It's too bad because I enjoyed The Dark Knight Rises even for all its flaws, although I would rank it below the first two in the trilogy. I'm very curious to see how this movie does in the end. I think the most it will make in the domestic box office is around $400 when all is said and done.

    • Chris138

      $400 million* of course... Nolan and WB would be in real trouble if this movie only raked in 400 dollars.

  • Jess E

    All things considered I would think that "TDKR" has and continues to be well received by the moviegoers. Reading box office experts commentary there is still high expectation for the film going forward although they themselves admit they aren't sure where the film will land. The film has already amassed $243m domestically in just 10 days and so far has amassed $176M overseas. Experts are predicting the film oversea will do better than "TDK" and if it does over $400m domestically which I think it will "The Dark Knight Rises" regardless of the naysayers will be a huge success.

    • Jess E

      Perhaps I should add also that the outcome will also be determined by how many screens it can keep from week to week as it will not be easy as some high profile film are heading into the scene, I don't think "Total Recall" has all that moviegoer want to see but I do think "Expendables 2" does.

  • Connor

    That sucks about batman. I thought the new one was badass. I just hope this doesn't happen with bourne and the campaign in 2 weeks. I also hope batman holds next week and total recall does good too. Even though total recall is not on mars this time, I still wanna see it because it looks badass and bryan cranston is in it.

  • dave

    percentages mean sod all. DKR had a much higher start so the drop is going to seem more compared to DK. comparing dollars to dollars on friday theres about $5 million difference. less yes, but not bad considering nearly 1 billion people worldwide watched the olympics and the recent tradegy putting people off. maybe wait until the weekend finishes before all the doomsaying can start. DKR doesnt really have much competition over the next few weeks so theres the long game to look at too.

    personally i didnt think the dark knight was all that fantastic when i watched it in the cinema. i was quite dissapointed and i prefered batman begins by a considerable margin. repeat viewings on bluray changed my opinion although id still rate BB the better of the two. but i thoroughly enjoyed TDKR and if i could afford it i would definitely go see it again. which is the consensus of everyone i know thats seen it and the cinema i went to was packed and you could tell from the buzz on the way out that they enjoyed it.

    i dont think TDKR will match its predeccesor domestically, it was a long shot before the shootings happened and i think now its near impossible. i think it will still manage a solid 400 million in the US. worldwide it should do very well but americans dont seem to think anyone else exists so no doubt theyll completely ignore the worldwide box office like they normally do. i wouldnt be surprised if it can muster up $1 billion in total.

  • Brian

    For crying out loud. You bunch of doom mungers. This film will stand the test of time. Who cares if it makes this much or that much. Everyone is out to knock everything at a moments notice. Just give it a rest.

  • Fred

    Its nearly made half a billion in a week & your making out its a disaster. You haven't got a clue what your talking about.

  • Steve J

    I have always believed the second Batman was so big due the death of Heath, the buzz for months afterword was how good his performance was (he fairly won an Oscar for it). That's why it did so much better then Batman Begins.

    • aspreadb

      I agree with you completely. This new one doesn't have any of the same buzz except that it's very good. People will wait until it comes out on DVD or whatever to watch it. As for The Watch and Step Up 4. They're shit movies. Hence the box office will be down this weekend.


    Trailing The Dark Night by 20 Million "not bad really" and trailing The Avengers by 60 Million. The only reasons i can guess:
    - The Shooting
    - Bane/Catwoman villians not as popular or likable as the Joker
    - Not in 3D
    - Not really for children

  • j.p.
  • Jess E

    I saw the film "TDKR" last Friday and rated it "An excellent movie". I saw the film today for the second time and now rate it "A GREAT Film". The 350 seat theater was about 2/3 full and the film got a spirited applause at the end by many people. True. Also for the guy that said the Academy preview results were that many thought it mediocre and that word of mouth was killing it, well, I don't know where he got his information but I read yesterday on where "Finke" states her sources said the Academy was a SRO only crowd and had to open up a second theater to accommodate all the members for the screening and that people at the screening said the film received spirited cheering andapplause after the showing. So one wonder what the motivation is for naysayers to go around and say the film is getting bad word of mouth.

    • Arthur Carlson

      I think what it is is that people are equating with not getting the word of mouth The Dark Knight received as bad word of mouth. It's more a false equivalency as opposed to just being wrong.

  • Aaron

    I've already seen the movie twice. Ya know why? Because I can separate reality from fiction.

  • Steve J

    I would think any movie with Stiller, Vaughn, and Hill in it would do better at the box office then "The Watch". Blame the writing or the plot or something.

  • Stiggy

    Next week could be interesting. Would I be stupid to predict that Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days might spoil Total Recall to the runner up spot?

    The family market is perhaps the most unpredictable one, however given that kids are now on holiday, I wouldn't be suprised if Dog Days ended up challenging TDKR for the #1 spot next weekend.

  • Arthur Carlson

    The Dark Knight Rises had a pretty solid Saturday, so it looks like the factor may have been more Olympic opening ceremony than bad word of mouth. Next week may be the better factor as far as bad word of mouth goes since there's no opening ceremony and the shooting is further removed.

  • Jimmy B

    I'm guessing The Watch's poor showing has more to do with its quality (or lack thereof) than the Trayvon Martin case.

  • j.p.

    For AS:

    We talk yesterday, got a new comment for you, comment 36.

  • Jason

    if it wasn't for the shooting it would have beaten the dark knight. In my opinion it was the best super hero moive of all time past dark knight.