Will Dark Knight Beat Titanic for Biggest Movie of All Time? [POLL]

August 1, 2008  |  Miscellaneous, Polls

Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight, starring Christian Bale and the late Heath Ledger, has been breaking records left and right. After only 10 days, the movie passed the $300 million mark - faster than any move before it. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest was the previous record holder. Pirates did it in 16 days.

So the next record that everyone's wondering about is -- Will Dark Knight make more than $600 million to beat Titanic as the highest grossing film of all time? So far it's been 12 days and has grossed $333,929,159. Punch your answer in the poll below.

{democracy:5}

How much do you think Dark Knight will make (domestically)? I say it won't do it -- $525 million tops.

23 Comments

  • Have the data in this chart been adjusted for inflation?

  • Does not appear to be.

    Dark Knight has a long way to go to beat Gone With The Wind according to http://www.boxofficemojo.com/alltime/adjusted.htm

  • I’ve seen inflation taken into account (though not “ticket inflation” as in the previous link), but never population size. If we’re talking all time records, don’t we need to account for the fact that there are many more eyeballs in the US now than when Gone with the Wind was released?

    New movies can earn more even accounting for inflation because there are more people to see them. So, we have a continual parade of record breaking movies.

  • no, inflation hasn’t been taken into account. bad, i know, but if it were, which i did a while back, it’d be a definite no and there’d be nothing to talk about :)

  • It’d be interesting to see this chart alongside some other blockbusters – some with big openings and subsequent plateau/crashes and some that were slow builders/word of mouth hits (i.e. “The Crying Game”).

    I’d suggest Dark Knight’s curve is indicative of it’s starting out fan base/hype (it’s also a sequel whereas Titanic wasn’t). I’d give it another week and then it’ll flatten out pretty quickly…

    Titanic on the other hand had some hype but it’s growth was built on word of mouth… I don’t think Dark Knight will have the same effect (at least not to the same degree).

    These are just North American #’s too right?

  • Ryan – yeah, domestic only. worldwide is an entirely different game.

  • Speaking of way cool graphic… The New York Times put out a visual of run times and revenues from 1986-2008 that I think everyone here would enjoy taking a peek at

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/02/23/movies/20080223_REVENUE_GRAPHIC.html

    I wish they had continued the graphic passed February, but hey it’s the nytimes and not FD

  • One thing that may hurt is that it won’t get an extra push from the Oscars because it will already be on DVD by then. Will you be updating this regularly?

  • Andrew – of course. i have to gloat when i’m right :)

  • i really enjoyed watching the dark knight! i’ve seen it twice already but im still waiting to see it on imax which still solded out as i speak!

  • Some movie box office visualizations.
    http://www.xach.com/moviecharts/

  • What are the factors that decide how long a film stays in the theater (other than the obvious issue of demand)? It could surpass Titantic if it is left in play long enough. The DVD sales figure is what will interest me more. Does someone who has already seen a film more than once become less inclined to spend $20-$40 on a DVD?

  • While it’s true that there are more eyeballs today than there were in 1950, it is also true that there are way more competing entertainment options today. More major studio releases and independent films are available in theaters at any given moment nowadays. You’d have to do an adjustment for active theater releases per capita or something ridiculous like that to even begin to be fair about this.

    Plus, when Gone With The Wind was in theaters, the television set was being introduced at New York’s World’s Fair. Dark Knight has to compete with thousands of channels, NetFlix, iTunes, video games, and even rental copies of Gone With The Wind itself. Many people saw GWTW at a “single-plex” that played only one movie and for months at a time.

    You’re just never going to be able to make an apples to apples comparison. It’s harder even than comparing athletes from different eras.

  • when gone with the wind was in theaters. Movies never lift the theaters. It was in the theater for five or six year. And it was also was put back to theater a lot of times. Plus I don’t think that inflation matters.

  • Dark Knight will not beat Titanic look at the numbers its just not going to happen. Dark Knights numbers are tracking typically each weekend there is approximately a fifty percent drop in revenue. Titanic shows no such drop in revenue in its entire box office run, on more than one occasion revenue actually increased (weeks eight and nine) by twenty percent. Dark knight may have come out of the gate strong but it doesn’t have the longevity to beat titanic, it will be close but titanic will still king. If you don’t believe me like I said earlier it’s all in the numbers just check out this link.

    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/showdowns/chart/?view=weekend&id=alltimegrossvs.htm

  • Dark Knight will not beat Titanic look at the numbers its just not going to happen. Dark Knights numbers are tracking typically each weekend there is approximately a fifty percent drop in revenue. Titanic shows no such drop in revenue in its entire box office run, on more than one occasion revenue actually increased (weeks eight and nine) by twenty percent. Dark knight may have come out of the gate strong but it doesn’t have the longevity to beat titanic, it will be close but titanic will still king. If you don’t believe me like I said earlier it’s all in the numbers just check out this link.

    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/showdowns/chart/?view=weekend&id=alltimegrossvs.htm

  • Look, I saw “Titanic” in 1997 and I gotta admit, that movie was the best movie I’ve ever seen. But now in 2008 I finally see the “The Dark Knight” and it’s now the greatest movie I ever saw in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I think Titanic is still the best but there has to be a movie that will top it off and so far ” The Dark Knight” is one of them. Its still gonna be hard though to reach the goal of beating “Titanic” because there are bootleggers that steal the movies from the cinema and back then there was hardly any. So if “The Dark Knight” beats “Titanic” then I will be impressed because that tells me that people still love going to the movies.

  • Some of the people who are seeing TDK, now are only doing it to beat Titanic, not necessarily because they enjoy it….

  • Mike, you have a slight flaw in your analysis, that flaw is that yes, Batman has started strong and is fading steadily week by week. But Titanic opened to a moderate opening and just simply sustained it. Second, Batman is now at 477,000,000 dollars gross for the year after four weeks. It simply has to average 30 million dollars for the next four weeks to break Titanic. Or more likely it will last for another 10 weeks, and only has to average 12 million dollars a week which is easily possible. Yeah, it had a huge opening, and that makes it all the more likely that it will break the $600 million barrier.

    Your analysis is right that Titanic had better staying power but at no point did it ever crack 40 million a week. Dark Knight busted that 3 weeks in a row. by quadruple, double and single margins each of the first three weeks.

  • a lot of interesting comments here about inflation and most of them are pretty valid. I never could have imagined competition (explosure etc) would play such a major part and it’s true – hard to compare like that just like it is with athletes from different eras. Though Dark Knight will reach $500 in the US and keep moving into Titanic’s magic $600 million mark (again adjusted for inflation, this owuld be a lot more so that Dark Knight will be competing against more than just the unadjusted figures of the 1997 picture). Outside the US, no such luck for Dark Knight (not that it was looking for such either – it’s just not the Titanic kinda film whose charm, at least partly, was in hype)

  • I think if it can maintain and stay in the top ten it’ll do it. I say it’ll at least make about 570,000,000 domestically and 1,300,000,000 internationally. I’ve seen it 3 times once on opening night, again with my wife, and another time in the IMAX. I know several people that still haven’t seen it. I saw Titanic like 2 months after it came out, so I’m sure people that haven’t seen will at least see it 1 or 2 times just from all the buzz.

    PS For all the real Batman fans go see that shit again they finally did Batman right.

  • Looks like I was right…

  • @Mike – looks like I was more right… for now :)

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