The end of last week was a time of great anticipation for the people of Britain. The Olympics was one whole week away but in only a few short days the forecast was sunny with occasional spells of watching The Dark Knight.
The PR machine (as it had been for some time) was in full flow and people were frothing at the mouth with excitement. Then it hit and the internet lost its marbles and there were even death threats sent to critics. So here it is. The aftermath of the weekend that was.
Well I say ‘frothing at the mouth’ but of course in the 21st century one does not literally froth at the mouth. No, that’s much too vulgar. What instead we got was people spewing #TDKR #TDKR #TDKR #TDKR #TDKR #TDKR #TDKR #TDKR #TDKR #TDKR #TDKR and the occasional #TKDR OMG like hashtags were about to be outlawed and self-censorship was actually outlawed. Twitter was a terrible place to be last weekend, especially if you were one of the few people on earth not to have seen the film already (and I saw it on Friday night). There were the rabidly supportive and the slightly indifferent. Oh, and the very rabidly supportive. That was it.
But rabies aside the critical reaction while at first strikingly positive suddenly became somewhat more muted. Many, many people have expressed doubts about the film but no matter. Even with the sun dragging away potential pilgrims to the altar of Christopher Nolan (of which I fear I am one) The Dark Knight Rises still managed to post the largest takings for three day weekend this year with £14.36m. Avengers Assemble may have taken £15.78m by this point in its run but that included £2.55m in previews, a luxury The Dark Knight afforded no one apart from the thousands of press who I wanted to throttle with jealously on the Thursday.
By the end of its run Avengers Assemble with an array of franchises behind it had clocked up an impressive £51.80m. But Batman is surely the superhero franchise. The Dark Knight made £48.88m and with the utter hype surrounding The Dark Knight Rises and a brace of slightly disappointed fans hungry for a second (hopefully more fulfilling viewing experience) it will surely beat the more light hearted, popcorn saturated Marvel offering by September.
The Dominant Knight
Not only has The Dark Knight Rises (I’m already fed up of writing it) made a killing but it’s completely smashed everyone else off the field. Only Ice Age 4 stood relatively resolute taking a useful £2.11m from the kids audience. Short of The Amazing Spiderman’s £1.05m and Magic Mike’s £888,330 the bottom six in the top 10 all took less than £100,000. A rare event indeed.
More than this not a single new release made it into the chart this week apart from TKDR. The other newbies were doomed to box-office failure as it was anyway. They mainly consist of a small selection of small independent films that couldn’t cobble together 30 sites between them and Ice T’s relatively widely publicised The Art of Rap which reached a paltry 7 screens. Compare this to Batman’s 594 sites and you really get a striking picture of the sheer expectation that surrounded the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy…
Summer Has Arrived!
As I write I sit here accompanied by the faint hum of the air conditioning I can nevertheless think only of one thing. How bloody hot it is. Whilst this is often a problem for the box-office with people choosing to indulge in some outdoor activity while the sun shines (I have no clue why), summer is traditionally a time of plenty for the film industry. This year is no exception. This week the top 10 holds three films that have broken the blockbuster hurdle of £20m with The Amazing Spider-Man (22.27m), Men in Black 3 (£21.75m) and Prometheus (£24.56m) all dying a dignified death this week in the shadow of the Dark Knight. That The Dark Knight Rises will shoot through this target is a given.
In the 20m+ stakes 2012 is currently outperforming its predecessor with seven titles to 2011’s six at this point in the year. After a strong start to the year from The Woman in Black, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and The Hunger Games, the summer releases have not let us down. Come next week the industry will most definitely be chalking up an eighth, a minor miracle considering the sporting calendar this year. Even so, the shockingly bad weather has been a real help.
Next Week – The Famine Continues
With Batman set to carry on taking all the money next week new releases are again thin on the ground. The Lorax is set to underperform after poor preview takings and a premise that will go over must better in America (Dr Seuss never really caught on here in the same way). It will most certainly eat into Ice Age 4’s figures but even then it could well still get lose to it. Other than that there is nothing else of note to report. I think it safe to say that TDKR is and will be an utter financial triumph. Long will it reign.
The UK Box-Office Top 10
- The Dark Knight Rises, £14,362,443 from 594 sites (New)
- Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, £2,112,021 from 530 sites. Total: £17,655,894
- The Amazing Spider-Man, £1,051,641 from 509 sites. Total: £22,270,010
- Magic Mike, £885,330 from 453 sites. Total: £5,250,974
- The Five-Year Engagement, £77,158 from 158 sites. Total: £4,711,437
- Cocktail, £70,212 from 57 sites. Total: £554,949
- Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, £59,788 from 182 sites. Total: £717,775
- Men in Black 3, £55,680 from 197 sites. Total: £21,750,343
- Prometheus, £39,075 from 94 sites. Total: £24,562,111
- Katy Perry: Part of Me, £38,327 from 180 sites. Total: £1,029,451
Topping The Charts This Time Last Year
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, £8,523,417 from 581 sites. Total: £44,271,997