The Dark Knight Returns…for Oscars (and Titanic?)

Warner Bros. has announced they’ll be re-releasing The Dark Knight in January 2009, in order to get the movie the proper Oscar attention, especially the posthumous one everyone thinks Ledger’s going to get. What Warner Bros. doesn’t say?but is surely thinking of?is that they also desperately, desperately want to beat Titanic as biggest movie in the U.S.

Here’s the score: Titanic has $600 million U.S. box office, and $1.6 billion worldwide gross. As of September 9th, Box Office Mojo says The Dark Knight has grossed $512 million in the U.S., which does put the film at a strong #2 for U.S. box office (don’t even worry about the world record, because at $950 million, The Dark Knight ain’t even close). Now, TDK has stayed in the Top 5 during all eight weeks of its release, and even last week managed to score 12 million dollars. I’d say by the time it goes away, it’ll have around $550 million.

So can TDK earn another $50 mil next year? Well, it’ll be close. Right now, Warner only plans to re-release the film in Imax, which does limit it. More importantly, the Dark Knight DVD will be released in December, just before Christmas, so most folks will have the option of seeing it at home?and I get the feeling the DVD is going to be a popular gift this year. I think it’s going to take a massive, Titanic-hating organized nerd movement to watch every available screening.