Enough is enough. I’m calling it so we can all move on – The Dark Knight WILL NOT beat the domestic gross of Titanic. It’s just not going to happen, $15 IMAX ticket sellouts or not. At 342mil, the film is still about 60mil away from eclipsing 2002’s Spider-Man and more than 80mil from 2006’s Dead Man’s Chest, and about to enter it’s third week of release – the week where even well performing films slow down considerably no matter how popular.
1997’s Titanic, in contrast, started slow – built over a series of weeks, slowed down, then won a record amount of Oscars, giving the film it’s second best day of its entire run 56 days into release at a measly 13.1mil. A recent E! Online article highlights how Titanic grew its audience over time, rather than play the “How Much Audience Can We Keep Week-to-Week” game of recent challengers…
- Opener smaller than The Flintstones. (Titanic is the 238th “biggest” of all time)
- Play at fewer theaters, at your peak, than Lost in Space.
- Never, ever make more than $13.6 million in a single day.
- Post your second-biggest day ($13.1 million) on your 58th day in release.
- Instead of falling by 50 percent in your second weekend, go up by 24 percent.
- Go up by 25 percent in your fifth weekend.
- Don’t sell fewer than $1 million worth of tickets untilâ€¦day 102.
Bottom Line: The way to 600mil is to build an audience with repeat customers who bring friends week-to-week. A portion of The Dark Knight’s audience is returning, no doubt – but they aren’t bringing friends the second time around.