What The Dark Knight's $500 Million Means

Illustration for article titled What The Dark Knight's $500 Million Means

Click to viewIt's finally happened: The Dark Knight broke the $500 million barrier this weekend like a giant man in a well-armored, bat-themed outfit smashing through a skylight that just happens to be well-placed above a crime in progress. But what does that actually mean in the real world? We consider some possible implications.Firstly, the $500 million+ gross by the movie single-handedly saves the summer box office, and also means that director Christopher Nolan will find almost every door open to him for whatever his next project turns out to be. Nolan's got what is now being called the second most successful movie of all time (behind Titanic, which is still over $100 million away) by those who haven't really taken that much time to consider that whole "inflation" thing. This will definitely make any and all future deal-making much, much easier. However, when you do look at the adjusted box office results, the movie isn't even in the top 20, and will, most likely, never even manage to break into the top 10. Not that anyone really seems to care about the facts that much, as it's more exciting to consider a current movie as something about to break a record than surrender yourself to the invulnerability of Rhett not giving a damn (Gone With The Wind's adjusted gross? An astounding $1,430,476,000). One takeaway that we'll probably see from the success of The Dark Knight is an aping of the marketing campaign behind the movie. If a year-long, multimedia ARG is what it takes to make a movie into a cultural phenomenon, then expect to find your inbox flooded with messages from fictional characters over the course of the next few months. Less likely to be copied is the death of one of your leading actors, although perhaps we're going to see a lot of older actors being given plumb roles just in case . . . Dark Knight Joins $500 Million Club [E! Online]



@jbq: "only the die-hardest nerds"? Um, Cloverfield? And TDK drew a lot of non-typical ARG participaters. Viral marketing is the new wave of marketing. It works well, and people will continue to use it and get wrapped up in it. Only "die-hard nerds" will follow games that cover things that don't appeal to the mainstream.