‘Dark Knight Rises’ Box Office Numbers: Massacre May Have Affected Opening

After the tragic mass murder in Colorado, Warner Bros. is keeping official weekend opening box office numbers for The Dark Knight Rises to themselves. However, Hollywood sources estimate that while the film definitely dominated despite the tragedy, it performed under expectations.

Sources say that The Dark Knight Rises took home about $160 million over its troubled weekend run, during which most media coverage was dedicated to the murder of 12 at the midnight premiere in Aurora, Colorado. Though $160 million isn’t at all bad, pre-release surveys and experts expected the film to amass $180, even $200 million during the entirety of its weekend run. The film’s opening weekend is number three of all time (not adjusted for inflation) behind The Avengers and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II. Both top films were released in 3-D while Christopher Nolan has adamantly opposed 3-D transition for his films, including Rises, notes the LA Times.

Though one might think that the cancellation of overseas premieres would affect opening weekend takeaway, a large majority of theaters did not cancel premieres amid the Colorado shooting, and many movie-goers bought tickets for the premiere in advance, notes Newser. Also worthy of note, the film’s predecessor The Dark Knight had an opening weekend just short of Rises at $158 million back in 2008, but went on to gross over $1 billion over its entire run. Rises could theoretically make up the difference over time thanks to word-of-mouth, as most reviews have found it favorable, and audience reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

Did you see The Dark Knight Rises or did you think it might be in poor taste following the Aurora massacre?