The Dark Knight Rises opens on Friday, now less than a week away from finally hitting our screens after four long years of build-up and anticipation since The Dark Knight, as The Joker might say, “changed things… forever”.
Back in February, we asked our What Culture readers whether The Dark Knight Rises, which to us has more hype than any movie in living memory and certainly generates more discussion on this site than any other since its inception in 2006, can reach the $1 billion mark the last movie in 2008 did. You guys responded with a resounding YES! – voting 2,056 votes in favour of the film joining the billion dollar club and just 62 of you saying no (although 157 of you were still sitting on the fence undecided).
At this point it seems folly to repeat the question. Marvel’s superhero ensemble spectacular The Avengers stormed past $1 billion to a $1.45 billion haul and the fact that movie bettered our expectations can surely only help The Dark Knight Rises as comic book movie fandom hits fever pitch.
So the question I put to you instead is… will The Dark Knight Rises beat The Dark Knight’s $158 million opening?
Back in the summer of 2008, the hype for The Dark Knight felt like pop culture lightning in a bottle. There was the expectation for The Joker’s (Batman’s biggest villain draw) first big screen appearance in almost twenty years, the added factor that there was the curiosity of Heath Ledger’s final full performance and the tragic surrounding his death, and the fact that Batman Begins was such a good movie that fans were no longer concerned that the franchise was another Batman & Robin malarkey that stopped far too many people from seeing that first movie in theaters.
This one doesn’t carry The Joker/Ledger factor but it certainly does have a sense of finale about it and a curiosity of just how Nolan will end his Batman saga. Will that anticipation result in a bigger worldwide opening? We’d say so.
What Culture are seeing the movie on Wednesday, so you can expect at least one or two reviews before the final chapter in Christopher Nolan’s historic trilogy opens at the end of the week.