Following the third biggest opening of all-time, "The Dark Knight Rises" should finish well ahead of the rest of the field this weekend at the box office as it hurdles toward $300 million in domestic revenue. Likely having a much smaller impact in theaters this weekend will be "The Watch," an R-rated comedy starring Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller and Jonah Hill. "Step Up Revolution" is also hitting theaters this weekend, though it has limited box office potential due to a small release and a franchise that appears to be on the decline.
With "Ted" finally starting to wind down after a very strong month in theaters, R-rated "The Watch" has the advantage of being the best option for comedy-seeking adults. But even with a popular cast and an easy-to-market concept, "The Watch" still doesn't seem to be in a great position to find its target audience. "The Dark Knight Rises" will steal a portion of tickets sales and it also doesn't help that it wasn't even pre-screened for critics, which is often a bad sign heading into an opening weekend.
Even with a limited ceiling, however, the combination of Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill should at least be enough to get "The Watch" off the ground this weekend. "The Watch" will have to gather considerable word-of-mouth to do much damage in the typically slow month of August, but for this weekend an opening in the $18 to $22 million range seems very doable. Look for "The Watch" to finish as the top new release, though its numbers will be dwarfed by "The Dark Knight Rises."
As adults check out "The Watch" this weekend, a younger audience should turn up for "Step Up Revolution," the fourth entry in a surprisingly lucrative franchise. The last two in the franchise have crossed $150 million worldwide despite production budgets of $30 million or less, setting the stage for another overall hit with "Step Up Revolution." The downside is that the domestic audience has shrunk consistently following the successful 2006 original, and that isn't likely to change with a limited 2,500-theater release this weekend. Though worldwide numbers should look okay when all is said and done, a small domestic opening in the neighborhood of $10 million seems likely.
While new releases struggle to find mainstream audiences, the stage is set for another huge weekend from "The Dark Knight Rises." With strong critical and audience support, "The Dark Knight Rises" should have similar longevity as "The Dark Knight," which hung around the top ten for more than two months back in 2008. "The Dark Knight Rises" probably won't be able to top the charts four straight times, as "The Dark Knight" did, but it will probably remain the number one movie in the U.S. until "The Bourne Legacy" opens on August 10th. Look for "The Dark Knight Rises" to finish near $80 million this weekend, which should push its 10-day domestic total past $300 million.
Outside of the U.S., the numbers are also looking very strong for "The Dark Knight Rises," though many countries have yet to have their release date. Countries like Japan, Mexico, France and Germany - four countries that saw big revenues for "The Dark Knight" - will release "The Dark Knight Rises" this weekend, giving it a big international box office boost. After Warner Brothers skipped its China release of "The Dark Knight," citing cultural sensitivity, "The Dark Knight Rises" has passed China's strict censors and will get launched sometime in August.
Next weekend, "The Dark Knight Rises" should remain the top box office draw, though remake "Total Recall" hits theaters challenging for action-seeking audiences. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" meanwhile takes aim at family audiences as Fox launches the third entry in the quietly successful franchise. The following weekend, "The Bourne Legacy" will reboot the popular Universal franchise and Will Ferrell's comedy "The Campaign" will team him with Zach Galifianakis for a timely spoof of American politics.
RTT Box Office Predictions for 7/27/12 - 7/29/12 (In Millions):
1. The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Brother): $80
2. The Watch (Fox): $20
3. Step Up Revolution (Summit): $12
4. Ice Age: Continental Drift (Fox): $9.5
5. The Amazing Spider-Man (Sony/Columbia): $5.2
6. Ted (Universal): $5
7. Brave (Disney): $3.2
8. Magic Mike (Warner Brothers): $2.1
9. Savages (Universal): $1.8
10. Moonrise Kingdom (Focus): $1.2
by RTT Staff Writer
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