"Dark Knight Rises" Ticket Sales Tumble in Wake of Shooting, Olympics

"The Dark Knight Rises" lords over new
entries "The Watch" and "Step Up
Revolution"; "The Watch" may not hit $15
million for the weekend despite its all-star
cast, led by Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn.
The combination of the Olympics and the Colorado
theater massacre is having a sizeable impact on
weekend box office sales, which could end 30
percent down from last year.
Twentieth Century Fox's high-profile summer
comedy The Watch -- starring Ben Stiller, Vince
Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade --
debuted to a sluggish $4.5 million Friday, well
behind the $19 million earned by The Dark Knight
Rises on its second Friday. The R-rated pic earned a
dismal C+ CinemaScore.
The weekend's other new entry is Summit
Entertainment's 3D dance pic Step Up Revolution,
which grossed $4.9 million to beat The Watch. Step
Up 4 earned a B+ CinemaScore.
Most box office observers predict that The Watch
will pull ahead of Step Up 4 and gross in the $13
million to $15 million range for the weekend,
compared to $11 million to $12 million for the
Summit film (Disney released the previous three
titles in the Step Up series).
Heading into the weekend, research firm NRG
warned Hollywood studios that 20 percent to 25
percent of the moviegoing audience were hesitant
to see a movie this weekend because of the
Colorado shooting (to boot, tracking was already
soft for The Watch). The Olympics also are keeping
consumers at home.
By any measure, Dark Knight Rises continues to do
big business, but there is no doubt the tentpole is
leaving business on the table because of the
shooting during a midnight screening of the movie.
The film, which is now pacing behind The Dark
Knight, is expected to earn in the $59 million range
for the weeked, compared to a $75 million second
weekend for Dark Knight.
Dark Knight Rises, from Warner Bros. and
Legendary Pictures, ended Friday with a cume of
$243 million. At the same point in time Dark Knight
had grossed $261.8 million domestically.
Friday over Friday, Dark Knight Rises fell 76
percent, in line with other films that had sizeable
midnight earnings on opening day (the pic collected
$30.6 million in midnight grosses).

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