By: Henry J. Fromage, Oberst Von Berauscht-
Several days ago a grease stained paper sack arrived at my door, flames licking at the edges. When I attempted to stamp out the fire, I found my shoes covered in some kind of gelatinous substance. This foul smelling secretion was quickly explained when I turned to the door:
Haven’t you guys heard of email?
Several months ago we published an similarly delivered essay titled 5 Reasons The Avengers will kick Batman’s Ass (At the Box Office), and this week sees the release of Christopher Nolan’s conclusion to the Dark Knight Trilogy. When Oberst Von Berauscht wrote that article, he had just come home from Joss Whedon’s superhero epic with the tingly sensation of movie-fan euphoria. He’s had time to come down off of that high (though I fear the injections may still be necessary for some time), so we teamed him with our esteemed and much maligned editor Henry J. Fromage, to provide a counterpoint for the previous article, outlining the following points:
(5.) Sequel Fever
Nine of the top ten biggest movies of 2011 were sequels, all ten if you count Thor, which technically continues story elements laid down by The Incredible Hulk, and Iron Man films. When the previous entry in any movie series is both critically and financially successful, the next one tends to exceed those numbers. The key is often in international returns, which tend to increase with each new entry in a franchise. Adding to this phenomenon is the fact that Batman is the most lucrative superhero franchise of all time. To the series’ principal cast, Batman has been like a limitless credit-card
But they still won’t lower his freaking interest rate…
(4.) The Christopher Nolan Effect
The Avengers was a hell of a good time at the movies, but an ambiguous, thought-provoking, conversation starter it was not. Christopher Nolan is still the king of melding incredible spectacle with thematic material, and you know that he’s put everything into the film that could well cement his legacy. The Dark Knight Rises has a great chance to be THE must-see conversation pic of the year, just like The Dark Knight and Inception before it.
If he succeeds, not only will it bring in the box office dollars, but it should finally receive the critical accolades and major awards the franchise so richly deserves. You know who loves Oscar-caliber material? Grandma and Grandpa. While everyone else was watching The Avengers, they were busy turning The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel into a $100 million hit. If The Dark Knight Rises can get them into the theaters, watch out. (Especially if the theater isn’t 100% handicap accessible…)
Old People are lazy… is what I’m saying
(3.) The Promise of Closure
The Dark Knight made over one billion dollars worldwide, and thanks to Professor Math, I know that translates to something above one hundred million tickets sold. If you’ve invested any time at all in this series, much less the four and a half hours it takes to see both films together, you are going to come back and see how it all ends. Add to it the potential expanded audience who discovered the last movie through rentals, the broadening international audience, the raving nature of the early reviews starting to leak, and you’ve got what could be the next Avatar. Of course, Avatar‘s ticket prices artificially inflated the box office draw through 3-D premiums, so it isn’t exactly an apples-to-apples comparison.
Fuck you Professor Math
With Bane (the guy who broke Batman’s back in the comics), as the villain, there’s no telling how far Nolan will go. Will Batman die? Will he be replaced? Will Nolan let evil triumph- the ultimate ”realistic” superhero statement? Whatever happens, Nolan has promised that this is the final installment for his Batman, with the emphasis on final. You (and everybody else) won’t want to miss this, if only to see what all the fuss is about.
(2.) Lack of Competition
In the weeks following The Dark Knight Rises, there will be no obvious competitors with sufficient clout to divide audiences. The biggest releases in Rises’ second weekend are a Ben Stiller comedy The Watch and Step up Revolution, followed in the next week by the Total Recall remake, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3, hardly giant killers. The fourth week of the movie’s release will have to contend with the new entry into the Bourne franchise, however audiences are likely to be skeptical of a Bourne movie that doesn’t actually star Jason Bourne, so the reviews and word of mouth will be crucial.
(1.) If you’re not convinced…
It’s a battle of giants, which mega-million dollar franchise will triumph?
Leave a comment and tell us what you think!
Also, allow me to suggest a few of our other fancy articles: