It’s fairly easy for me to tell when a particular movie is doing well. My local theater is only a stone’s throw away from my apartment and when a highly anticipated movie premieres I can expect that for a good, solid, weekend that the parking lot will be packed and that there will be a little more traffic on the road home. But with The Dark Knight, it’s been a heavy stream of traffic area since the day it was released. Just last night I passed by the theater on the way to dinner with the family and once again saw that the place was packed. I thought that perhapsThe Mummy had drawn the crowd, but in the back of my mind I had a feeling that the packed house was more likely due to folks going to see The Dark Knight (and in some cases, for the second time). According to Newsarama, I may have been right:
Turns out even the undead can’t stop Batman. Despite the new Universal release The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor leading the North American box office on Friday, according to new estimates (at boxofficemojo.com) for the three-day period, The Dark Knight will again be the weekend’s overall winner. The Dark Knight is estimated to have taken in $43.8 million dollars for the Friday-Sunday period, which would only be a little less than a 42% drop from its total last weekend and would be the second-best third weekend in box office history, behind Spider-Man‘s $45m in 2002…The Dark Knight is now estimated to have grossed nearly $395 million in total domestically and could break the $400m barrier by end of business Monday, just 18 days after its release.
I’ve seen the film twice now, and despite a few nit-picks, I really did enjoy the experience both times. I think I’ll avoid an in-depth review as I just don’t think there’s much more that I can add to the steady stream of praise out there, but I did want to mention that despite the dark, dark atmoshphere I appreciated the theme of hope that ran simultaneously throughout. Evidenced best in Batman’s principled fight to oppose the Joker at every turn, physically and ideologically, Commissioner Gordon’s commitment, and the good nature of the citizenry that won out when the Joker thought he had the people pegged. And speaking of the Joker, I knew very little of Heath Ledger, outside of the tragic news of his death, but I have to echo the steady stream of praise that he’s received for his portrayal – Ledger simply stole the show with his terrifying rendition of the clowned prince of Gotham. Humorous one second, and a monstrosity the next, I never knew what to expect from the Joker one scene to the next and was completely convinced that this guy was capable of bringing down a city almost single-handedly despite his claims to…simply be sowing a little chaos. On multiple levels he nailed the complexities of the twisted clown and it was a fantastic performance all around. And despite having no love for Hollywood, the Oscars and such, it would be a shame if Ledger wasn’t nominated posthumously for the performance. It’s been a great year for comic movies and the bar is climbing ever higher as a result. Good news for all of us (and that much more after I was unfortunate enough to catch the end of X-Men the Last Stand last week *Shudder*).