Can Batman Break The Box Office?
The final instalment of Christopher Nolan's trilogy seeks to topple moneymaking records
After a long and anxious wait, the Dark Knight finally rose again on Friday, with the film’s producers hoping that it will become one of the highest-grossing films of all time.
But will Christopher Nolan’s trilogy finale live up to studio expectations? Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were both highly successful films, but neither of them made it to the top of the profit list. The latest and final instalment of the Nolan-universe Batman means it’s the caped crusader’s last chance to prove he’s not a joker when it comes to matters of moneymaking in the movies.
So what exactly is he up against?
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
Peter Jackson’s 2003 adaptation of the final part of Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings saga sits as happily as a hobbit in a hole as the fifth highest-grossing film of all time.
The film took USD $72million in its opening weekend – a significantly lower figure than The Dark Knight took in 2008 ($158million) – but still came out on top, grossing USD $1.1billion worldwide.
Having won 11 Oscars, it is clear that The Lord of the Rings has substantial popularity but will this be enough to keep the Dark Knight from knocking Frodo and friends off of fifth place?
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows : Part II
So, fourth place in the list of highest-grossing films of all time has been taken by the world’s favourite boy wizard.
David Yates took JK Rowling’s already phenomenally popular Harry Potter series and managed to get USD $169million out of the film’s opening weekend alone.
As the finale to an eight-part series, the anticipation surrounding this film meant that a huge fan-base had been built up, giving the picture a real momentum, and comfortably securing the biggest return in the series.
Grossing USD $1.3billion worldwide, it is no surprise that at least one Potter movie has made it into the top 5 highest-grossing films of all time, and Nolan will be hoping the end to his Batman trilogy will have similar success.
3. The Avengers
This year’s other major comic-book adaptation, The Avengers is probably Batman’s strongest competition. After all, it’s not often superheroes compete against each other, but the battle of the capes is on.
To date, the Ironman, Hulk, Thor and co ensemble has grossed almost USD $1.5billion, and was the culmination of five years worth of Marvel super hero origin movies, which all lead up to the moment they all met each other.
Director Joss Whedon gained a lot of well-deserved critical and commercial praise for making the film hang together perfectly for the notoriously difficult to please fans, and as a result, Batman will be left trying to fill some rather large superhero shoes.
However, it is entirely possible that The Dark Knight Rises may just be dark and intriguing enough to push The Avengers out of third place. Only time will tell which superhero film will come out on top.
James Cameron made his name with big-budget blockbusters, like Alien, raking in huge profits and giving him the pedigree to source an iceberg-sized budget of USD $200 million to make our second placed movie moneymaker, Titanic.
Since 1998, Titanic has taken over USD $2billion, with USD $28million coming from its opening weekend, and allowing it to sit top of this particular chart for over a decade before being knocked off top spot three years ago.
This classic love story sets teenage girls hearts aflutter, and the sinking scene is up there with one of Hollywood’s most spectacular, and its popularity soared again recently with the re-release of the film in 3D earlier this year, creating a new generation of Leonardo Di Caprio fans.
With 11 Oscars and world-wide popularity, Batman will have his work cut out for him if he tries to claw his way past these two lovebirds. After all, if Titanic has taught us anything, it’s that Jack and Rose won’t give up without a fight.
Top of the tree though, and unlikely to be caught by anyone, let alone Batman is another James Cameron juggernaut – the filmmaker’s 3D spectacular, Avatar.
The movie which brought 3D to the masses is possibly the most hyped film of all time and has remained, quite comfortably, as the highest grossing film since its release in 2009.
Despite a very mixed critical reaction, the film was a box office sensation, taking over USD $77million in its opening weekend alone, and securing more than USD $2.7billion of income in order to take pole position at the top of the grossing leader board.
With its three Oscars and numerous other awards, there is no doubt that Avatar will pose some stiff competition for the Dark Knight as he rises to the challenge.
The MoneyMaker Magazine Verdict
Batman has some tough competition ahead of him if he is to please his producers and become one of the highest-grossing films of all time.
The first two instalments did well, but nowhere near well enough to really challenge the top five, let alone top spot, so Nolan will be cautious about any firm promises. However, a blend of near universal critical acclaim and the fact that the two long-running saga films on the list are represented by their finales bodes well for the British filmmaker.
Our prediction? A host of awards come Oscar time to recognise the excellence in filmmaking, and a box office of over USD $1 billion to sneak into the top five. However, we think James Cameron won’t be losing too much sleep just yet.