Debate: Do you think that Heath Ledger's death was what made The Dark Knight so commercially sucessful? - Wrestling Forum : WWE, TNA, Debate League, Wrestling Videos, Women of Wrestling Forums
View Poll Results: Do you think that Heath Ledger's death was the reason why TDK did so much money?
Yes, I firmly believe it's the main reason 2 8.33%
Yeah, but I think it's only PART of the reason, not THE reason 15 62.50%
No, I really don't 4 16.67%
Darude- Sandstorm 3 12.50%
Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Debate: Do you think that Heath Ledger's death was what made The Dark Knight so commercially sucessful?

Disclaimer...ish: this thread that I made here is NOT to debate the quality of the film. Most of us agree that The Dark Knight was one of the greatest films of the last decade, the greatest superhero film of all time, and a masterpiece of modern filmmaking and commenting on our current society (even if I don't think it's even Nolan's best, imo that title belongs to Inception). Others don't think so. But that's not the point. You may take the quality into account, but not as if THAT is the sole theme of the argument here.

Now, as of today, Furious 7 is currently sitting as, unadjusted for inflation, the 7th highest grossing film of all time worldwide, being the 20th member of the "Billion Dollar Club" by chronological order, w/a gross of $1,152,710,000. It was the fastest movie to ever cross the milestone at only 17 days (reached it), and chances are, it'll still make further more and more. At least until The Avengers 2 comes out. And even then it's a question mark. And admitedly, the Fast & Furious franchise has grown bigger and bigger w/the passing of the years, a growth that really started to blossom upon the release of Fast Five, and then boomed further more w/Fast & Furious 6, which currently sits as the 50th highest grossing film ever. So, no matter what kind of circumstances would've surrounded it, Furious 7 would've done great regardless.

But, frankly, I think that one element of it is what pushed it to make THAT much money: Paul Walker. No, it wasn't a shocker that it made this much money when you put thought into it in a post-2013 mindset - by then Walker already had his tragic and ironic even demise, and we were all looking forward to see: a) what were they going to do w/him, and b) his very final cinematic appearance ever. The tragedy, accidentally, upped the stakes of the movie and made everyone curious. Such thing mixed w/the growing blockbuster appeal of the franchise itself? Yeah, I can see how that many people went to watch it. But... if Paul Walker had never died? Honestly, I'm sure not. Bigger movies in sheer scale, recent ones even - like The Hobbit 3 in example - failed to do as much.

That, however, isn't the first time that a death of an actor created a haunting atmosphere surrounding a certain film. Back in 2008, most people were incredibly skeptical about Heath Ledger having been cast as the Joker in the sequel to Batman Begins, The Dark Knight. But later, interest started to increase when promotion of the film began dropping. And it looked good. Ledger looked really good. And then..... Ledger died. In real life. A tragedy that, I assume, took everyone by shock. And fittingly. Skip to Summer that year and BOOM, The Dark Knight becomes the first superhero film to gross over 1 billion and only behind The Return Of The King, the 2nd Pirates Of The Caribbean and Avatar as the highest grossing film of the decade. Currently, it's the 20th highest grossing film ever. And just to kill doubts, comparatively, Batman Begins sat at just over 374 million. Dark Knight almost TRIPLED it overall.

So, my question is: do you guys think that Heath Ledger's death morbidly influenced the crowd's curiosity on the movie so much, to the point where The Dark Knight did as much money as it did? I personally say Yes, I do. And, more than likely, it was the main reason. Much like I think Furious 7 just isn't THAT big enough of a blockbuster on its own right to make that much money, The Dark Knight, while big enough to still be a huge success solely on its own, pretty surely needed to have more than just "It's a great movie starring the Goddamn Batman" as a reason to make it to 1 freaking billion. Especially in a period where that landmark was still relatively uncommon (compared to nowadays, at least) and only the biggest of the biggest Hollywood events made it there.



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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 02:14 PM
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Re: Debate: Do you think that Heath Ledger's death was what made The Dark Knight so commercially sucessful?

Joker sells on it's own merit, people were wondering what kind of Joker it was.

Now the Oscar win....that's a different story.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 02:18 PM
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Re: Debate: Do you think that Heath Ledger's death was what made The Dark Knight so commercially sucessful?

I thought you were going to talk about heath ledger maybe going crazy after being casted as the joker... He did a few things to get into character, which might of made him suicidal or at least crazy, but I've not researched into his death as I really was such a big fan of his, way before the dark knight

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 02:22 PM
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Re: Debate: Do you think that Heath Ledger's death was what made The Dark Knight so commercially sucessful?

Of course it helped a bit. People wanted to see his performance after the news. It still would have made a lot, but it must have increased the ally in an unquantifiable way. Just as now, Paul Walker's passing has supercharged the lastest Fast movie to record heights.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 02:25 PM
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Re: Debate: Do you think that Heath Ledger's death was what made The Dark Knight so commercially sucessful?

What if they didn't go to see it because of his death....

But they went to go see it because of his outstanding performance?


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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 02:35 PM
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Re: Debate: Do you think that Heath Ledger's death was what made The Dark Knight so commercially sucessful?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Addychu View Post
I thought you were going to talk about heath ledger maybe going crazy after being casted as the joker... He did a few things to get into character, which might of made him suicidal or at least crazy, but I've not researched into his death as I really was such a big fan of his, way before the dark knight

RIP sweetie and obviously Paul Walker.
Dude had trouble sleeping and a doctor gave him sleeping pills, didn't know his limit and never woke up.

Not exactly "suicidal or crazy".
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 02:42 PM
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Re: Debate: Do you think that Heath Ledger's death was what made The Dark Knight so commercially sucessful?

It's all complete speculation since there's no way to actually know, but I'd say in the case of The Dark Knight it's a definite no.

The Dark Knight was such a success because it was a really great film with far more mainstream appeal than Batman Begins, Ledger's Joker was a far more compelling antagonist than Cillian Murphy's creature because he tapped into a lot of the fears that people have in real life.

A terrorist who wants to blow up hospital and boats, steal money, viciously kill people and generally cause trouble is something I can believe in, a guy who wears a potato sack on his head, sprays fear gas and an Irishman called Ras Al Ghul who wants to blow up the water supply, do me a fucking favour. Begins was well received by Batman fanboys and a massive improvement on the 5 films which was why it got such great reviews, but it wasn't brilliant as either a horror or an action film. TDK was a great action film which is why it far eclipsed BB.

Further to this, if the success of TDK was due to Heath Ledger's death then surely you could expect a drop off for The Dark Knight Rises - there was no drop off, in fact TDKR grossed even more. They went back to the terrorist story again, it worked again and it grossed billion+ again, if they'd made it about a Penguin or Killer Croc or some other fantasy villain it probably would have grossed a few hundred million again.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 02:43 PM
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Re: Debate: Do you think that Heath Ledger's death was what made The Dark Knight so commercially sucessful?

He gave an amazing performance but yeah, his death helped alot. It was his last film and he was a known actor so of course many would wanna see it.


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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 02:45 PM
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Re: Debate: Do you think that Heath Ledger's death was what made The Dark Knight so commercially sucessful?

i think its more why he got the academy award. i think heath ledger deserved the oscar hands down but the academy being so pretentious they wouldnt give it to someone playing a supervillian unless he tragically died

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 03:07 PM
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Re: Debate: Do you think that Heath Ledger's death was what made The Dark Knight so commercially sucessful?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deezy View Post
Dude had trouble sleeping and a doctor gave him sleeping pills, didn't know his limit and never woke up.

Not exactly "suicidal or crazy".
Do some research about how much he really did before they started to film the dark knight, that would make anyone frikkin crazy, he was unusual anyway and thats what I loved about him but he took it way too far.
And like I said, I didnt research into his death, I know it was an overdose of something, but how can someone take an overdose without knowing what he was doing to his body, I take sleeping pills, it doesnt take more than 2 to hit hard, im sorry but something wasnt right about his death.


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