UPDATE: Here are the numbers as footnote to Sasha’s post above. Numbers that won’t stop building for several more weeks.
And that’s another thing to consider when comparing Star Wars and The Dark Knight. In 1977 there was no 5-month DVD release window to worry about. Star Wars opened in May and was still playing on 561 screens in December (an astonishing number in pre-multiplex days). It stayed in theaters well into 1978 (note the ^ symbol as pointy-headed asterisk next to 1977). Sure, tickets were cheaper, lines were literally “blockbusting,” and more butts were on the edges of more theater seats. But as Tufas and others have pointed out, there were no “tivo, home video, internet, videogaming” and other techy entertainment diversions competing for attention (and disposable income) 3 decades ago.
Half a billion bucks is an achievement by any measure, and like we’ve said before, if beating Star Wars is no big deal then how come it took 31 years to do it? $500 mil by the end of Labor Day weekend? It’ll be close, but with a second well-orchestrated marketing push (perhaps right around the time that another Warner Bros money-magnet would’ve been opening, but now won’t be) $550 mil and beyond seems all but inevitable. Congrats to The Bats.
Bank Robber #5: That’s a lot of money. [throws duffel bag of cash in back of bus] What happened to the rest of the guys?
The Joker: [without looking back, riddles Bank Robber #5 with bullets.]