The Dark Knight Rises–Box Office Disappointment?

The Dark Knight Rises, despite its strong opening around the country, could be underperforming in terms of ticket sales in part because moviegoers may be skittish about going to their local theater after the Aurora, Colorado, shooting rampage and/or because of interest in the 2012 London Olympics.

In the first 10 days, the film raked in $289.1 million in North America (which is a huge number) in gross sales but fell short of 2008’s The Dark Knight at $313.8 million according to USA Today. There has also been a 60% drop in theater ticket sales in the second weekend. The film could be “fading faster than analysts expected,” despite generally good reviews.

In analyzing The Dark Knight Rises domestic earnings to date, Tim Briody of the website told USA today that…

What has happened here is the combination of tragedy and the Olympics have created the perfect storm to keep viewers away from theaters. While we were hopeful that last weekend was an aberration and audiences would return after the headlines subsided, that has not been the case at all.

Hollywood in general tends to get back its investment overseas, however, and so-called franchise or tentpole movies like the Batman trilogy in particular should generate a lot of cash at the box office in foreign markets when all is said and done.

In a column posted at the website, John Hamann seems quite pessimistic about The Dark Knight Rises box office appeal going forward:

The release of The Dark Knight Rises was supposed to go much differently…Instead, because of one deranged nutjob, the performance of The Dark Knight Rises is in complete chaos and the box office overall is stumbling. The opening of The Dark Knight Rises failed to show the serious cracks in the audience base following the tragedy, as the new phenomenon of advanced ticket sales kept the opening weekend from completely falling apart…The Dark Knight Rises has gone from a box office juggernaut to a film just trying to keep up with the big boys.

Do you agree with USA Today that The Dark Knight Rises is “sinking” at the box office? Have you seen the film, are you planning to go, or will you just wait for the DVD release?