Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Dark Knight (finally) crosses $1 billion worldwide. Now, it's only $800 million away from Titanic.

Brandon Gray of Box Office Mojo broke the news last night. The Dark Knight is now the fourth film in history to gross $1 billion globally.

The current list -
Titanic - $1.84 billion
Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King - $1.11 billion
Pirates Of The Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest - $1.06 billion
The Dark Knight - $1.00 billion

Two things of note -
As Gray pointed out, The Dark Knight is the rare blockbuster of late to earn far more domestically than overseas. It ranks 22nd on the all-time overseas chart with $468 million. Second of all, this benchmark would have been passed a lot sooner had the film not been more or less banned in China due to the subplot involving Chinese gangsters and Hong Kong corruption. A wide release in China would have arguably added at least $30 million to the global coffers.

This is all speculation at this point, but it seems logical to me. Anyway, Mazel Tov to all involved. And let us again marvel at the whopping $723 million lead that Titanic has on the closest runner up. Only 29 movies have ever made more than $723 million worldwide total. Short term opening records will rise and fall. Inflation will eventually catch up to the $608 million that Titanic grossed in America (I'd argue that had the film won Best Picture at tomorrow's Oscars, The Dark Knight could have closed the $70 million gap). But I cannot imagine in my lifetime seeing the worldwide record tumble. It is the Joe DiMaggio 56-game hitting streak of movies.

Scott Mendelson

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