Batman vs The Avengers: Who Will Be Bigger, Better, and Badder?
Prior to its May 4th release, the Avengers opening weekend numbers tracked at around $125 million. When all was said and done, that tracking number proved to be nothing more than an inconsequential joke; as the Avengers cleared $207 million without breaking a sweat.
As the Dark Knight Rises‘ July 20th release date draws near, box office blunders and Avenger-annihilating numbers are all a-buzz. The Los Angeles Times currently projects the Dark Knight Rises opening weekend numbers at $150 million. If the Avengers taught us anything, it is that “tracking numbers” are less-than-accurate.
Which begs the question: Is Christopher Nolan capable of toppling an angry green man, an ACDC-loving rich guy, a latex-sporting assassin, a bow-and-arrow hunk, and a WWII vet, in one weekend?
The answer: To be determined.
Like anything else in this world, there is no simple answer. Multiple aspects must be taken into account when comparing the two comic-book concoctions. As any super hero savant knows, no two heavyweights are created equal.
For one, The Dark Knight Rises will not be released in 3-D. With 3-D screenings accounting for 52% of the opening-weekend gross for Marvel, Avengers was able to surpass The Dark Knight‘s 2008 sales by $13 million, and become the highest grossing comic book film ever made.
However, without the 3-D surcharges, the Avengers’ ticket sales fall to $525 million, placing the comic-book King behind the The Dark Knight by a whopping $63 million.
Holy big-time-3-D-difference, Batman.
Whether or not Nolan-nuts are capable of making up the difference triple dimension-less sales will create, is up to the Dark Knight fans themselves.
Another potential hurdle for the dark defender? Film build up in general. The Avengers roped in audiences with five separate movie releases over the course of four years, before actually sitting fans in squished seats to watch the collective comics on a single silver screen. Nolan has released two previous Batman movies over the course of seven years.
In a culture where individuals have the attention span of a nat, a condensed comic book medley may prove to be more successful.
Furthermore, and sadly, it was the untimely death of then Joker, Heath Ledger, that added to the Dark Knight’s 2008 buzz. Thankfully, there were no goodbyes necessary when filming rapped on the Dark Knight Rises. However, the happy healthiness of Nolan’s cast members may prove to be a box-office bummer.
Which, consequently, adds to the final worthwhile difference between these two films. The Dark Knight Rises is a much more ominous, sinister, heavy film than the light hearted, comedy-driven, fluffy Avengers. Only time will tell as to what audiences across the country would really rather see: a dark, albeit more realistic Bruce Wayne, or a smart-aleck Tony Stark; driving his teammates crazy with unending, albeit hilarious, sarcasm.
If this writer had to put money on a horse to win, her pretty penny goes to Christopher Nolan and company. Having been at the 2008 midnight premier of The Dark Knight – costume and all – I have witnessed first hand the craziness surrounding Batman.
There’s just something about a dark, mysterious, troubled, handsome, manly, rich playboy vigilante – and an unbelievably sexy, back breaking Tom Hardy – that will always have my heart a-fluttering, and my impatient self waiting in line come July 19th.