I didn’t see The Dark Knight till Monday of this week, but the buzz beforehand pegged it as long, dour, and tough — a brilliantly conceived downer. I knew opening day tickets were going fast, but I wasn’t convinced audiences would really go for it en masse, or at least not in a record-breaking way. Gloomy, morally ambiguous, and complex aren’t usually characteristics associated with massively successful summer blockbusters. Certainly, I figured, you’d have a lot of critics complaining that it took itself too seriously, that the whole thing was too unpleasant, and that there’d be attendant buzz about whether it was “too dark” for summer audiences — and that buzz, combined with the film’s length, would keep the box office down opening weekend.
So I made a friendly wager with Sonny Bunch: The Dark Knight, I proposed, wouldn’t break $105 million in its three-day opening.