Paramount Pictures’ “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” got off to a strong start at the box office this weekend — but how much of that had to do with the teaser for “The Dark Knight Rises” that played before the movie?
The Christopher Nolan-directed Batman film, out this summer, is expected to be one of 2012’s biggest box office draws — so hard-core fans might have rushed out to get an early glimpse of the Warner Bros.’ superhero movie this weekend. Still, the teaser — dubbed a “prologue” — was playing on only about 40 of the 300 IMAX screens where “Mission” was playing this weekend, meaning it’s unlikely the preview boosted the film’s $13-million haul substantially.
“I’m sure people are interested in seeing the prologue,” said Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros. “But I don’t think you can attribute the prologue to pushing the entire gross. You can certainly attribute the prologue to pumping it up in a couple of locations, but it would be ludicrous to think the promotion of the prologue itself propelled ‘Mission.’”
Greg Foster, chairman and president of IMAX Filmed Entertainment, said a 31% uptick in ticket sales from Friday to Saturday indicated there was “no doubt that ‘Mission’ is working.”
Because Warner Bros.’ new “Sherlock Holmes” movie was not booked into IMAX theaters this weekend, the studio could not offer the Batman prologue in front of a movie made by its own studio on the large format screens. A “Dark Knight” teaser did play, however, in front of “Sherlock” on 2-D screens.
The latest “Mission: Impossible” flick also launched in 36 foreign territories this weekend and raked in $68.2 million overseas. The picture was the top choice for moviegoers in South Korea, Japan, Russia and the United Arab Emirates, where the film had its premiere recently.