This weekend The Dark Knight will try and establish some more records as it enters its second weekend. The Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly starring comedy, Step Brothers, and The X-Files: I Want to Believe, the second film adaptation to the once popular sci-fi television series, will both try and steal some business from Batman.
The Dark Knight has already set a gargantuan number of records, and this weekend, more should continue to fall. I’ve already detailed exactly what records Knight has broken thus far (click here for the article), but I’ll sum up the main records. It’s the quickest film to both $100 million and $200 million. Knight also lodged the biggest opening day, weekend, and week.
The largest second weekend ever is the $72.2 million take from Shrek 2 over the lucrative 2004 Memorial Day weekend frame. To match or beat that number, The Dark Knight would have to fall 54% or less from its opening weekend. For a sequel with such a huge debut, that may seem hard to accomplish at first glance. After all, the previous weekend record holder, Spider-Man 3 dove 62%, but Dark Knight has much better word-of-mouth, and the potential for repeat business is high. Instead, Dark Knight‘s hold should be comparable to another previous record holder, 2006’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. That film also opened in July and fell 54% in its second weekend. Knight’s daily patterns during the week have closely followed Dead Man’s Chest and the level of competition is also very similar so a similar drop should occur giving Dark Knight about a $73 million second weekend and a running total of $312 million, which would easily be the largest ten day start in history.
Step Brothers will likely open to a liitle more than half of Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby‘s $47 million debut due to tougher competition, a lower theater count, and a harsher ‘R’ rating. Step, however, does benefit from being the first high profile comedy to target the 17-30 age group in over a month. About $25 million or so should result, which would have seemed sub-par if it wasn’t for Semi-Pro bombing earlier this year.
The latest X-Files film will likely have a very disappointing opening this weekend. The X Files: Fight the Future launched in theaters to a potent $30.1 million en route to an $84 million total. Unfortuantely for the new X-Files, that was a decade ago when the series viewership was at its highest. The show has now been off the air for six years, and the last few seasons saw a significant drop-off in the ratings. Plus, on Rotten Tomatoes, the reviews are only at 31% positive versus 64% positive for the 1998 X Files. All of this combined with huge competition from the Caped Crusader suggests an opening of just $15 million.
Predictions for the weekend of July 25-27, 2008:
- The Dark Knight – $73 million, -54%
- Step Brothers (3,094 theaters) – $25.5 million, NEW
- Mamma Mia! – $16.9 million, -39%
- X-Files: I Want to Believe – $14.8 million, NEW
- Journey to the Center of the Earth – $8.1 million, -34%
- Hancock – $7.8 million, -44%
- Wall-E – $6.6 million, -34%
- Hellboy II: The Golden Army – $5.2 million, -49%
- Space Chimps – $5 million, -30%
- Wanted – $2.8 million, -45%
Box Office Data Source: The Numbers