“The Dark Knight Rises” grossed $19.5 million Monday, an encouraging sign for Warner Bros. as the blockbuster continues to play strongly despite the fallout from the Colorado shootings.
That’s below the $24.5 million that “The Dark Knight” took in on its first Monday back in 2008 but is the best non-holiday weekday of any film this summer and means the “Dark Knight Rises” has made $180.3 million in four days of domestic release.
That was the good news.
The bad news was a developing story in Maine about a 49-year-old man who told police after he was stopped for speeding that he had snuck a loaded gun into a “Dark Knight Rises” screening in Saco, Maine on Saturday night.
He was being held after police said that he had an AK-47 assault weapon, four handguns and several boxes of ammunition in his car along with newspaper clippings related to the Colorado killings.
Also troubling were signs that the box office as a whole had been hurt over the past weekend by fallout from the Colorado shootings. With the exception of “Brave,” every film that was playing in more than 1,000 theaters suffered drop-offs between 50 percent and 66 percent from the previous week.
Some of that was the tentpole effect of “Dark Knight Rises” playing strongly at more than 4,400 locations. But Sony’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” dropped from $34.6 million in its second week to $10.8 million and Universal’s “Ted” fell to $10 million from $22.1 million.
“You can make the argument that ‘Spider-Man’ was another comic book movie, but that was a big drop for a third week," Exhibitor Relations Co.’s senior analyst Jeff Bock told TheWrap Tuesday. "And comedies are typically not greatly affected by tentpoles, so to see that on ‘Ted’ was sort of telling. I think the whole box office was affected.”
This weekend could be telling, and Bock said he expects "Dark Knight Rises" to keep rolling.
"I can see it with a 40 percent drop, and it should easily hold the top spot this week and maybe even the next," he said. That would mean a second week north of $90 million for Batman.
"The Watch,” an R-rated comedy from Fox starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn, and Summit’s musical drama “Step Up Revolution” are the only two wide openers. "Dark Knight Rises" won't face a real challenge until Sony rolls out its “Total Recall’ remake on August 3.