Let me preface my two cents by saying I'm looking forward to both of these movies, solely because of the directors involved. (I think Whedon and Nolan should seriously do a movie together, someday...) That said...
Originally Posted by metaphysician
Dark Knight Rises doesn't have the free publicity of a dead teen hearthrob actor. Sorry, I don't see TDKR beating TDK's records.
Heath wasn't just a "teen heartthrob," he was a genuinely good actor. I can count half a dozen serious films (other than Brokeback
and TDK) he has done. So your argument holds no water.
And TDK changed the face of superhero films. It's sufficiently open-ended to lead into TDKR, but it would've worked without a follow-up too.
And while it may not break the $500M mark like TDK did, TDKR will almost certainly reclaim its record-breaking opening day and opening weekend gross. Just on the pent-up demand and goodwill generated from its previous two films, TDKR will enjoy at least a $400M domestic cume.
looks like a great time at the movies, but it's going to have to do some significant crossover appeal (the non-Marvel and non-comic-book movie fans) if it has a chance to giving TDKR a run for its money.