Weekend Report: 'Dark Knight' Beats Up 'Recall' Redux
by Ray Subers
The Dark Knight Rises
August 5, 2012
For the third-straight weekend, The Dark Knight Rises easily claimed the top spot at the domestic box office. Meanwhile, both new openers struggled: the Total Recall remake is the latest big-budget, heavily-marketed sci-fi movie to notch an underwhelming debut, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days fell way short of its predecessors. The Top 12 earned $113.8 million, which is off 28 percent from the same frame last year (when Rise of the Planet of the Apes dominated).
The conclusion to Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy dipped 42.5 percent to $35.7 million in its third weekend in theaters. In comparison, The Dark Knight fell a slightly steeper 43.2 percent to $42.7 million in its third outing. On Sunday, The Dark Knight Rises passed the $350 million mark, making it the third-fastest movie to reach that level behind The Avengers (10 days) and The Dark Knight (14 days). The movie has now earned $353.9 million, which is $39 million less than its predecessor had made through the same point.
Total Recall opened to $25.58 million from 3,601 locations this weekend. That ranks second all-time among Philip K. Dick adaptations behind Minority Report ($35.7 million) but very slightly ahead of the original Total Recall ($25.53 million). Unfortunately, the original Recall opened 22 years ago and therefore had substantially higher initial ticket sales.
Distributor Sony Pictures is reporting that the movie's audience was 58 percent male and 53 percent were 30 years of age or older. They awarded the movie a poor "C+" CinemaScore.
While it's very early in its run right now, Total Recall's domestic box office situation appears nearly identical to that of May's Battleship. Both movies opened two weeks after a major comic book adaptation (The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises) and earned nearly the same amount ($25.58 million for Total Recall, $25.53 million for Battleship). Both movies also face stiff competition from sequels in their second weekends: Battleship went up against MIB 3, while Total Recall is set to face The Bourne Legacy. With the "C+" CinemaScore suggesting that word-of-mouth won't be particularly strong, it won't be surprising at all if Total Recall winds up close to Battleship's disappointing $65.2 million total.
The third Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie debuted to $14.6 million from 3,391 locations this weekend. That's way less than the previous two installments, which scored $22.1 million and $23.8 million, respectively, in their opening frames.
According to 20th Century Fox, the audience skewed female (58 percent) and younger (62 percent under 25). They gave the movie a nice "A-" CinemaScore, though even with strong holds it's going to be tough to match the last entry's $52.7 million total.
In fourth place, Ice Age: Continental Drift eased 36 percent to $8.6 million. The movie has now made $132.1 million, which is a solid total that nevertheless suggests the movie has little chance of reaching the previous franchise low of $176.4 million.
The Watch rounded out the Top Five with $6.5 million, which represents a 49 percent drop from opening weekend. The star-studded comedy has only earned $25.5 million through 10 days, and seems destined to wind up at a similar level as previous Summer 2012 comedy dud That's My Boy ($36.9 million).
While The Watch can't catch a break, R-rated comedy sensation Ted continued to thrive in its sixth weekend. The movie dipped 23 percent to $5.6 million, and on Saturday it eclipsed the $200 million mark. In doing so, it joined an elite club of recent R-rated comedies to hit that level, which includes The Hangover ($277.3 million), The Hangover Part II ($254.5 million) and Wedding Crashers ($209.3 million).
Step Up Revolution plummeted 50 percent to $5.9 million. That brings its 10-day total to a meager $23.7 million, and all-but-guarantees that it will be the lowest-grossing entry in the franchise.