This is absolutely the last box office post I run for a while. I promise.

Initial estimates had The Dark Knight clearing $157 million over the weekend. This figure was revised downward to $155.3 million on Sunday, apparently accompanied by griping from previous record holder Sony who claimed the numbers were still inflated.

Well, the final figures are in and the Bat actually took in $158.3 million.

Meanwhile the much maligned Mamma Mia! raked in $27.6 million of its own, helping the whole weekend to a record setting $250+ million. The previous record was $218.4 million in July ’07 led by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Cleveland Steamer.

What does it all mean? Absolutely nothing. I’m just saying.

 This concludes your weekly bean counting.

22 Responses to “‘Dark Knight’ Finds More Cash in Batmobile Ashtray”

  1. According to David Poland, this means the world to Sony because this takes down Spider-Man 3’s record.

    I didn’t even see Spider-Man 3 but I’ll admit I’m glad the reportedly lousy third Spidey movie was overtaken by a very acclaimed film.

    Poland was also, I believe, saying that the original estimate of 155 million meant that it was nowhere actually near 160, because if it was Warner Bros. would have just said 160. Whoops.

    Will he admit he was wrong? HA! Yeah, sure.

  2. It means that if box-office reports do end up making their way in here from time to time, we’ll expect that they’ll be hilarious.

  3. Guys, it can only mean one thing: this is the greatest film in the history of cinema. Close that chapter, slam that book.

  4. How’s that review comin’ along, DP? I had a rough time with it.

  5. Thanks Dorothy, this means I only have one more DVD I’ll ever need to buy. whew!

    This is like The Rapture, isn’t it? ;-)

  6. You mean with the blowing of the horn and the burning of the people who didn’t give it 5 stars? Yikes.

  7. LOL @ RA. As for the review…man, it’s taking me a while to get through it. I’m still…well…thinking about the film. I want to do it justice (bad pun intended). I might be doing too much thinking; for instance, I believe that a good companion piece to this film would be….wait for it; wait for it; “Charlie Wilson’s War.” So, yeah; that’s my mindset right now. Damn you, Christopher Nolan et al.

  8. No pressure DP, I was just curious because I also had a hard time.

    At a certain point I just wrote down all my thoughts and sort of started organizing and cutting things out until everything made sense. I haven’t reread since I posted it to see how it all came out, but there it is.

    I’m fascinated to hear the CWW connection…

  9. Well, yours is a magnificent write up, but what else is new?

    As to CWW; I just couldn’t shake the feeling that US foreign policy was all over TDK in a big, big way. You definitely hit on the political aspects in your review pretty succinctly. In any case, it’s probably over my head, which will make it difficult to put down on the page, but I’ll give it a go (contingent on “real” work, of course!).

  10. I touched on it, but not in the bathing suit area. It’s a big ol’ can of worms, but one I’ll be thinking about when I see the movie again.

  11. I just looked to see when I could buy tickets for a reserved seat after work IMAX showing of Dark Knight and they’re sold out ALLLL week. Afternoon shows available only.

    In the words of Velma from Scooby Doo: Jinkies.

  12. Yikes, Craig, guess you better sneak off for an afternoon show. But coming out and seeing the sun after watching The Dark Knight–it’s happened to me twice now–is a truly jarring experience.

  13. I promised no more box office posts for a while so I’ll put this in a comment. There’s an interesting analysis in the LA Times (and probably all over) how the intial estimate was low.

    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/movies/la-et-batman22-2008jul22,0,2305420.story?track=rss

    Apparently the audience figures only dropped 9% from Saturday to Sunday. 15% is more typical and some were expecting 20%.

  14. I got suddenly busy just as I was wanting to come join the party. Can I just make a vague statement with no supporting argument except for an even vaguer gut feeling?

    I did see a thin veneer of fascist fetishism, Craig. And, Dorothy, I did see an ostensible overlay of American foreign policy (and domestic policy!)

    I also like to think I see Nolan trying to do something so unfamiliar to subvert our preconceived notions of superhero, it’s such a flipped-out reversal of all the norms. almost as if Nolan is giving us an superantihero — or actually, more precisely, a superantivillain.

    [By antivillain I mean a man who employs warped villainous means in his pursuit of doing good. Which we know is screwed up, but yeah, Batman is screwed up. And everybody in the movie who knows him knows it. And yet, as blatantly obvious as it is what a conflicted moral mess he is, they still put him in charge. Sound familiar?]

    Batman manages so thoroughly to turn the whole concept of morality and authority inside out, he somehow becomes the antagonist of his own damn story. This would be a preposterous premise unless the supporting cast weren’t such a balanced ensemble that we often find ourselves wanting to identify with other more palatable characters instead of blindly sympathizing with the guy who’s always been sold to us as the hero.

    So it’s scary on a whole different level. And I think it’s intended to be a warning. But then naturally my fear is the same thing you’re all poised over your keyboards and ready to throw right back at me: “But nobody is gonna get that! They’re just gonna think Batman is cool as shit and not understand it’s a twisted Big Brotherly satire.”

    Yeah, just like The New Yorker Obama cover was, hitting us in the face, one too many layers for most people to feel comfortable with (and just as messed up and problematic and troubling).

    But what’s wrong with a movie that’s troubling? We all want Nolan to be making a deeply mature and thought-provoking movie. But who for? Where are all these deep-thinkers? (I know, right here at LiC.) But these relatively rare deep-thinking moviegoers are not the same hoards who bought $155 mil in tickets this weekend.

    And that’s the price we pay for asking for complexity. Lots of people will be willing to simply accept what they think they see on the surface. Just like any schmo can buy The New Yorker, and turn it into anything he wants it to mean.

    I choose to think The Dark Knight means something else besides an endorsement of the things that are making some of us itchy. I see it as a cautionary tale. And maybe that won’t become clear until part 3, but whoa, holy mind-fuck, how awesome would it be if this is what Nolan is up to?

    Batman (and any superhero, basically, other than Superman) is a vigilante bully who smashes shit up and wreaks havoc while he’s thinking he’s doing “the right thing.” The integrity of “the right thing” is not what’s in question. But the methods being used to achieve that right thing that are fatally flawed, and that’s what Nolan wants us to think about.

    Or maybe this is all a lot of wishful thinking and second guessing and reading between lines where there’s nothing but blank space. But I want to have faith that Nolan isn’t giving us any kind of straightforward narrative. Because when has he ever been straightforward?

    Hopefully this scatterbrained explanation will be so opaque that nobody else will try to clarify it and beat me to the best way to do a more intelligible job of expressing it. (Get away from it! Run!)

    I’ll just toss it out there as something to think about, so that (1) nobody jumps to simple conclusions, and (2) nobody will feel so bad about having trouble getting a handle on the more complex conclusions.

    And hopefully everybody will feel really good that they don’t have to live inside my head.

  15. You make perfect sense and I think you and I are dancing around the same issues and ultimately reaching similar conclusions.

    as for this “But nobody is gonna get that! They’re just gonna think Batman is cool as shit and not understand it’s a twisted Big Brotherly satire.” I didn’t believe it about the New Yorker cover and I don’t believe it about Dark Knight. I mean it’s true, it will be lost on some people, but they’re lost anyway.

    When was the last time you left a superhero movie thinking so much?

  16. “….When was the last time you left a superhero movie thinking so much?”

    Since never.

    Hey, was wondering…….will I be able to follow the plot and things if I haven’t seen all the other 5 Batmen movies???

    [sorry, just reminding everybody what it would be like if this were the LiCDb]

  17. Rex Reed liked The Dark Knight a lot, but he didn’t get how the Joker could return after he was already played by Nicholson. Check out his review, it’s funny.

    Very good thoughts, Craig and Ryan.

    “When was the last time you left a superhero movie thinking so much?”

    I feel like I could write several different reviews for it, but I’m exhausted from one now. It’s extraordinarily thought-provoking, though, in a way that is usually reserved for films released between Labor Day and New Year’s.

  18. It’s hard to imagine the current sociopolitical zeitgeist not impacting on artistic choices re tone and theme. Nolan and his collaborators are unlikely to be champions of vigilantism and the erosion of civil liberties in the name of defeating “evil”. And the evocation of such thoughtfulness in the viewer is surely meant to stimulate reflection and review. Someone at LiC made reference to how the citizens of Gotham are shown to be complicit in the dubious moral choices of its leadership. If this is the case it surely only strengthens the cautionary tale angle.

    Seeing the film on Friday and look forward to subsequently revisiting these discussions.

  19. Rex Reed:

    When he describes coming face to face with Batman as “what happens when an indestructible force meets an old immovable object,” I laughed aloud. Was I the only one who knew he was quoting the Johnny Mercer lyrics to “Something’s Gotta Give,” sung by Fred Astaire in Daddy Long Legs?

    yes, Tyrannosaurus Rex, you are indeed the only one on the planet who knew that. So you’re the guy in the theater who laughs in exactly all the wrong places, you twaddling twit.

  20. To be fair, he shoplifted that review from the Bosley Crowther Store (at a mall near you).

  21. Whatta maroon!

  22. Dark Knight is a must see for sure, though it might be a better game plant to go after the crowds die down a bit.

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