|Dark Knight Matched the Hype
1st day Record
An Analysis of the Dark Knight's Projected Earnings
July 25, 2008
The Dark Knight set the record for highest grossing film for its first weekend with $158 million.
The previous best was Spider-Man 3 with $151 million. Spider-Man 3 went on to gross $337
million in US theatres. But Dark Knight should be able to surpass this total with ease.
Spider-Man 3 tapered off fast due to negative reviews, but the Dark Knight has great reviews and
even better responses from the movie-going public. The totals were close for the 2 movies for the
first weekend, but the Dark Knight quickly grossed over $200 million in just 5 days, while it took 9
days for Spider-Man 3 to do the same. Below are the projections for the Dark Knight.
Weekend 1 (actual) = $158 million
The first weekend finished #1 all-time. It had little competition, #2 was a film that targeted a much
different audience; Mama Mia!
Weekdays 1 = $91 million
Monday and Tuesday are actual results ($46 million) and Wednesday and Thursday are
estimated at $20 million and $25 million respectively. In most circumstances, Wednesday and
Thursday will make up 55% of the weekday gross, but in the case of a consistent sell-out like the
Dark Knight, the weekend traffic will spill over to Monday and then the following weekend.
Running Total = $249 million
Weekend 2 (estimate) = $90 million
The current record for a second weekend is Shrek 2 at $72 million, followed by Spider-Man at $71 million and Pirates of the Caribbean:
Dead Man's Chest at $62 million. The projection of the Dark Knight is based on its continued strong performance during the week
averaging $23 million from Monday - Thursday. To gross $90 million, it will only need to achieve $30 million per weekend day. It will
have some competition from Will Ferrell's Step Brothers and Fox's X-Files movie. But the Dark Knight has been able to pull in all
demographics of people, while the opening weekend is geared towards males in the 18-34 demographic. Movie-goers that weekend
outside that demographic will likely see the Dark Knight if they have not already seen it.
Running Total = $339 million (15th on the all-time list after 2 weekends)
Weekdays 2 (estimate) = $28 million
An average weekday of $7 million is being projected for its 2 set of weekdays. This is based on other movies that had great openings
and second weekends. Movies used for the weekday 2 estimate are Spider-Man, Shrek 2 and Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix.
Running Total = $367 million (12th all-time)
Weekend 3 (estimate) = $40 million
$40 million would give the Dark Knight the second best third weekend behind Spider-Man. The competition for the remainder of the
summer is light, but this weekend as the remainder of the blockbuster openings. And there will likely be a drop-off for the Dark Knight.
Running Total = $407 million (7th all-time)
Weekdays 3 (estimate) = $12 million
The typical decline from weekdays of week 2 and week 3 is over 50%. For the Dark Knight, the average weekday will drop from $7
million to $3 million.
Running Total = $419 million (7th all-time)
Weekend 4 (estimate) = $25 million
The Dark Knight will no longer set records for best weekends starting at the 4th weekend. The movie that performed the best from the
4th to the 12th weekend was Titanic. Titanic had a poor opening week, but it gained momentum. No other movie has ever been able to
get so hot after week 3. This is the reason why Titanic was able to achieve $600 million. The Dark Knight will continue to taper off.
Running Total = $444 million (3rd all-time)
After Weekend 4 thru Closing of the Movie = $100 million
The Dark Knight will put up strong numbers of over $20 million in each of week 5 and 6. It will likely dip to $15 million in week 7, and $10
million by week 8. But then it will have the extended labor day weekend where it will see a couple extra million by those with nothing to
do. Also, the movie will be re-released in limited distribution before the Oscars (assuming Heath Ledger is nominated).
Running Total = $544 million (2nd all-time)