Summer movie attendance may have hit a 19-year low, but that doesn't mean it was all bad news for Hollywood executives: "The Dark Knight Rises" crossed the $1 billion threshold at the box office last weekend, making it the second film of 2012 to do so after "Marvel's The Avengers," and the thirteenth all time. With $1.010 billion in ticket sales, "The Dark Knight Rises" has even earned more at the global box office than its predecessor, "The Dark Knight," which topped $1.003 billion in 2008.
Of course, the difference between the two Batman films' total grosses is in the details: "The Dark Knight" earned $533 million at the domestic box office, while "The Dark Knight Rises" has pulled in "just" $433 million thus far. Overseas, the numbers are flipped, with "The Dark Knight" accruing $469 million and "The Dark Knight Rises" grossing $577 million. THR stipulates that the lower domestic take for Christopher Nolan's Batman finale could have something to with the tragic massacre in Aurora, Colo. at a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" on July 20. (Research following the murders showed that up to 20 percent of moviegoers were afraid to return to the movie theater.)
The lower domestic total could also have something to do with the Olympics. As the New York Times notes, quoting research from Ipsos MediaCT, "one out of every 10 moviegoers replac[ed] at least one trip to the movies with televised sports." In 2008, the Summer Games happened in August, weeks after "The Dark Knight" opened.
Not that anyone at Warner Bros., the studio behind Nolan's "Dark Knight" franchise, is too upset. The only other franchise that can claim to two $1 billion grossing films is "Pirates of the Caribbean."
[via THR; numbers via Box Office Mojo]