In spite of a record-setting opening weekend, The Dark Knight Rises' sub-$200 million debut was a bit underwhelming, and the odds that the film would follow in The Avengers' footsteps and gross more than $100 million in its second week was always unlikely--now prognosticators are starting to weigh in on the movie's second-weekend propects and it looks like $65 million is the number to beat for Christopher Nolan's final Batman film.
An illuminating piece at CNN reflects on a number of reasons why the movie--which is already lagging behind where The Dark Knight was at this point in its theatrical run, in spite of a larger opening weekend--might be underperforming at the box office, considering not only the Aurora theater shooting but also the impact of Heath Ledger's death, word-of-mouth and more.
One aspect they've ignored, which seems worth mentioning, is the fact that there was no TV campaign throughout the opening weekend, after Warner Brothers suspended it in the wake of the Aurora killings.
If it makes the $65 million CNN is expecting, The Dark Knight Rises--which currently has a six-day total of $211 million--will end up at $290 million by the end of business Sunday. Performing slightly bigger than expected and topping $300 million isn't out of the question, though, particularly since a below-expectations opening frame presumably means there were a number of fans still out there who wanted to see the movie early.
CNN--whose parent company, Time Warner, also own Warner Brothers, who are distributing The Dark Knight Rises--predicts that the second-place movie this weekend will likely be the Ben Stiller-Vince Vaughn comedy The Watch, a comedy about a neighborhood watch group who face down an alien invasion. The film is expected to open at $22 million, which is anemic for a movie with those stars, but which is probably as much as Fox (the film's distributor) can reasonably expect from a movie that's suffering not only from a connection to the Trayvon Martin shooting (he was killed by an overzealous neighborhood watch volunteer) but also some pretty atrocious reviews so far.