Today it was revealed by Variety that The Dark Knight will rank up $900 million over the weekend worldwide. A lot of people have really praised this movie for it's clever writing and Heath Ledger's performance.. But it seems to me it may be more than just his performance that got people into theaters. I also think that it may not have much to do with the script either.
The Dark Knights success I think was driven mostly by people who were curious to see Heath Ledgers "final performance". This was also fueled by people "in the know" who said his portrayl of Joker was Oscar worthy. Which I would say is a bit much. But is there something more to this? I mean were we already expecting Heath to give a stellar performance and whether or not he did.. Were people simply caught up in a crazy mass of agreement that no one could ever have given a better performance?
I tend to think people were. Most fans who have seen this movie have seen it multiple times and for some reason believe they should make it the number one movie of all time... But why? Will they benefit from it? No. Does Heath Ledger benefit from it? Certainly not. So while rabid fans are out buying tickets like mad to help it surpass Titanic they are really just putting more money in Warner Bros. pockets.
That is probably the heart of this little editorial. It happens all the time when an artist passes away that out of blind love for them we buy up everything they did. But they will no longer benefit from it. All the money goes directly to the pockets of the big studios or record labels in most cases. I think Tropic Thunder hit on this point a little when Tom Cruises character wouldn't pay the ransom for the lead actor. Of course this was all done very comedically but in the long run it doesn't seem so far from the truth.
So with The Dark Knight still raking in the cash Warner Bros. is laughing all the way to the bank. But the ultimate question is whether or not they would be if Heath Ledger had not died.. Would the early reports of Heaths performance had been so glowing? We will never know. But I will end this by saying before you pull out your wallet to support The Dark Knight again.. Think twice.