Box Office News

The Dark Knight passes the $400 million mark

The Dark Knight has now crossed the $400 million mark at the US box office in just 18 days.

Variety report:

In only its 18th day in release, Warner Bros.’ “The Dark Knight” reached the $400 million mark in domestic sales on Monday, grossing $6.3 million for a cume of $400.1 million.

That easily beats the 43 days it took “Shrek 2” to jump the $400 million boundary.

Some pundits were predicting that The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor would just beat out the Batman sequel this past weekend but the caped crusader grossed $42.7 million, narrowly ahead of The Mummy which took in $40.5 million.

In foreign territories it has taken over $200 million, which is pretty remarkable even for a summer blockbuster, especially as it has achieved this number in 18 days.

Unless there is an unexpected drop off, it will almost certainly end up in the top 5 grossing movies of all time but can it beat the all time champ Titanic?

Jeremy Kay crunched some numbers recently over at The Guardian:

Talk has turned to whether the bat has the chops to overtake Stars Wars’ $460.9m (ยฃ233.4m) lifetime tally to become the second biggest earner in history.

It could well do. Overhauling Titanic’s legendary $600.8m (ยฃ304.2m) mark is another kettle of fish, however.

Many believe it will never be bettered and I’m inclined to agree. Still, you never know, and I’ll gladly take my hat off to Nolan if it does.

By the close of Tuesday, after 15 days on release, The Dark Knight stood at $333.9m (ยฃ169m) in the US and Canada, making it the biggest film of the year-to-date in the US and Canada and the 16th biggest release in North American history.

It’s been averaging a little over $10m in daily tickets sales this week thanks to rabid word of mouth and nationwide school holidays.

By conservative estimates, factoring in a 50% drop-off in ticket sales in the third weekend, The Dark Knight should boost its cumulative gross by $35-40m (ยฃ17m-ยฃ20m) by the end of Sunday, which would catapult it into the lifetime earnings top 10 on a tally of more than $380m (ยฃ192m).

How much it drops off this weekend is contingent on the number of new and repeat visits and, of course, the competition.

The extraordinary thing about Titanic was that when it opened in the US in December 1997 it didn’t have the blast off that accompanies a lot of blockbusters.

It actually took 12 days to pass the $100 million mark and just kept grossing consistently as it stayed top of the box office for an unprecedented 15 weeks, which is still a record.

Strangely, it had it’s biggest weekend gross in mid-February as no doubt the Valentines Day effect kicked in. In short it is an anomaly amongst big grossing films and unlikely to be broken in the near future.

The Return of the King ($1.1 billion) and Dead Man’s Chest ($1.06 billion) are the only other films in history to enter the $1 billion club and even they are still some way off Titanic’s $1.8 billion gross.

I personally don’t think The Dark Knight can sink Titanic, but is there a possible contender?

My hunch is that in 2011 when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II comes out (the final book will be two films), the fan base, media hype and expectation of the final Potter film could mean the all time record finally being broken.

> The Dark Knight at Box Office Mojo
> List of the highest grossing films of all time at Wikipedia
> More on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows being split into two films