The Dark Knight Rises and the Billion-Dollar Movie Club




"The Dark Knight Rises" (TDKR) is, at the time of writing, still on course to reach a billion dollars in box office sales. I'm compiling a performance chart of the dozen members of the Billion-Dollar Club as compared with TDKR. So far I have stats for the first two weeks and I'll update as we go along until TDKR finishes its run or reaches a billion dollars...whichever happens first. Suggestions for improvement of the spreadsheet are welcome.

The sheet is currently at the two-week-performance mark. Two weeks is not a sure-fire indication that a movie will or will not make it to a billion.


At less than 359 million, "Toy Story 3 has the weakest two-week performance of the Billion Dollar Club, showing how strong its legs were. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" had by far the strongest two-week performance at over 855 million but it did not guarantee that it would be the highest grossing movie of all time.

TDKR's two-week performance of over 688 million, puts it at fourth place out of thirteen for week two performance. It has about seven more weeks to add the critical numbers needed to join the club. Seems like more than enough time.

Update 20120812:

This is week three and TDKR is still fourth out of thirteen for third-week performance. Last week, I had mixed up the domestic and foreign figures for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" (HP8), but the total two-week cume was intact. HP8 had the best two week performance but "Avatar" took over, followed by "Marvel's The Avengers".
"Toy Story 3" still has by far the weakest performance after three weeks. A further testament to the legs the film must have had up to the billion dollar point.
For more context, I have also added "The Amazing Spider-man" (TASM), whose three-week performance is on par with many billion-dollar earners, even though I doubt that it will make close to a billion based on its five-week performance.

Update 20120820

This is week four and TDKR has started to show signs of fatigue. It has dropped from fourth to fifth place out of the fourteen movies (now including TASM). Get this...it only made a little over 70 million this week,  beating only TASM (figures for "Titanic" and "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" are still not available). Yes, Toy Story 3 made more money than TDKR during this week in their time line. However, all that said, TDKR is still currently the biggest earner in the foreign market (week 5 at the top) and is nearly 170 million ahead of its predecessor "The Dark Knight" at this point in their timeline. It is also yet to open in China and a handful of other territories. Director Christopher Nolan's "Inception" did nearly 70 million dollars in China but it is not necessarily a reliable indicator of what TDKR will do even though "Inception" was released just as late in China back then. I believe Inception didn't have to compete with the likes of TASM and "Prometheus" which, LA times reports, will be released in the same week as TDKR. This is said to be a deliberate effort by the Chinese state to limit the success of foreign films at the expense of their local productions.

Update 20120827
TDKR's performance in week five is a little better than expected based on last week's performance. Even though it has dropped from 5th to 6th place, it has a better chance at reaching a billion. TDKR's week 5 total is now at 934 million. With decay rates even as high as 50%, it should pull in an additional 46 million by week 10 (not much damage is done at the box office after week 10) without ever being released in China or Italy. So 980 million by week 10 means that, at worst, TDKR will be the highest grossing movie to fail to reach a billion dollars. At best it could do better than "Pirates of  the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" which ended its run at $1,065,896,541.

Update 20120903
It's finally happened. It's crossed a billion! I will be updating the spreadsheet but not right now. Still celebrating with them.

Update 20120907
Celebration's over. Finally updated the spreadsheet up to week 10 for those films that have been out at least that long. I'm stopping at week 10 because not much magic happens at the box office after week 10 (unless you count re-releases).

Update 20130624
The spreadsheet has finally been modified to track the worldwide  Box Office performance of "Man of Steel" (MOS). Newer member films to the Billion-Dollar Club have been added also.


 Click here to view the spreadsheet.





Source data from Box Office Mojo

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