It looks as if it does pay to save the world, as superheroes has ruled the big screen this past summer. The Reuters news service has recently reported that despite the low film attendance, the superhero genre is expected to match last year’s domestic box office record of $4.18 billion.
Leading the good fight is The Dark Knight, the blockbuster sequel to 2005’s Batman Begins. Much of the film’s buzz has been due to Heath Ledger’s posthumous performance as the Joker; some say it may lead to an Oscar nomination. Despite the legal and personal troubles of stars Christian Bale and Morgan Freeman, The Dark Knight has been unanimously praised by critics and fans. It has broken several box office records, raking in over $490 million dollars domestically; not only has it has been the top-grossing comic book movie of all time in America, but it is also behind 1997’s Titanic as the second top-grossing movie of all time.
Media by Numbers, a box office tracking service, has stated that American-Canadian ticket sales since May 2 are going ahead of last summer at 1.2 percent. However, the number of actual admissions is down at almost three percent from last year, with the increase in revenues fueled mostly by higher paying tickets.
Still, The Dark Knight, Iron Man, and Hancock are three of the four superhero films that have accounted for the revenues of the 2008 summer season at almost $1.5 billion dollars.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull became the third biggest summer movie at $315 million. The Incredible Hulk is at number 10 with $134 million, while Hellboy 2: The Golden Army reached 24 at almost $75 million.