As The Dark Knight approaches Titanic on the all-time box office list, let’s reflect how it reached such lofty heights. The number one film at the box office ever since its release (the past four weeks), The Dark Knight represents some superior filmmaking that actually lived up to the hype. Whether you love or loath Batman’s raspy voice or Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker, The Dark Knight creates some very memorable moments.
The well-timed building explosion, Bruce Wayne “accidentally” saving a disloyal employee, and the Joker’s twisting strategy culminating in a rotating upside shot near the end all represent outstanding continuity where every element presented gets some form of resolution. The quiet, yet high-stressed strings in the musical score during tense moments enhance the film even further.
Director Christopher Nolan (The Prestige, Memento), who also co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Jonathan, weaves all these elements to create the aura of an epic play disguised as a superhero blockbuster. Nolan even keeps his crew intact including cinematographer Wally Pfister and editor Lee Smith, both worked on Batman Begins.
It’s a great film, but maybe you don’t think too much of the well-publicized box-office numbers where Titanic stands at just over $600 million as the U.S. box office champion. The current tally of approximately $448 million seems like a lot, but Hollywood’s exaggerated view of the box-office numbers gets put into a different perspective when inflation comes into play.
As of last weekend, The Dark Knight had only recently surpassed the total of the first Batman film when inflation is factored in (according to the Web site Box Office Mojo). Factor in the international tallies and the numbers spin even further. Iron Man and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull have already staked their home video claims, September 30th and October 14th, respectively.
Will the The Dark Knight appear on home video before the holiday season? Yes, that likely scenario will probably happen, but Warner Brothers still might want to stretch the theatrical run for a chance to cross the $500 million mark, which would provide some studio bragging rights. The Dark Knight could reach that mark by the end of September if it depreciates 40% or less every week. At this rate, The Dark Knight will certainly take the number 2 spot from Star Wars, which stands at $461 million, but probably won't be able to sink Titanic – a feat that Red Cliff is currently working on and will likely achieve at the box office in China. In any case, be sure to see The Dark Knight in theaters before it’s gone. You won’t regret it.