Archive for Monday, August 11, 2008

Dark Knight’ stays on top

August 11, 2008


— Batman was higher than Hollywood's newest pot heads.

"The Dark Knight" took in $26 million to finish as the No. 1 movie for the fourth straight weekend, beating the stoner comedy "Pineapple Express," which opened in second place with $22.4 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The weekend haul lifted the Warner Bros. Batman sequel to No. 3 on the all-time domestic box-office charts with $441.5 million, behind only "Titanic" ($600.8 million) and the original "Star Wars" ($461 million).

The last movie to remain No. 1 for four consecutive weekends was "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" in late 2003 and 2004, according to box-office tracker Media By Numbers. That movie did it during a much slower time of year, with nowhere near the competition "The Dark Knight" has faced during Hollywood's busy summer season.

"It's almost unheard of. Summer doesn't usually afford films that much of a wide-open playing field," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Media By Numbers.

"The Dark Knight" should surpass "Star Wars" to become No. 2 on the revenue chart by this coming weekend.

However, the numbers reflect today's higher admission prices, and "The Dark Knight" will not approach "Star Wars" or "Titanic" in terms of actual number of tickets sold. Taking inflation into account, "The Dark Knight" would need to pull in about $900 million to match the number of tickets sold for "Titanic" and about $1.2 billion to equal "Star Wars."

It should top out at $510 million to $520 million, Fellman said.

Since opening Wednesday, Sony's "Pineapple Express" had taken in $40.5 million.

The weekend's other wide release, the Warner Bros. sequel "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2," opened at No. 4 with $10.8 million, raising its total to $19.7 million since debuting Wednesday.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Media By Numbers LLC. Final figures will be released today.

1. "The Dark Knight," $26 million.

2. "Pineapple Express," $22.4 million.

3. "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor," $16.1 million.

4. "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2," $10.8 million.

5. "Step Brothers," $8.9 million.

6. "Mamma Mia!", $8.1 million.

7. "Journey to the Center of the Earth," $4.9 million.

8. "Hancock," $3.3 million.

9. "Swing Vote," $3.1 million.

10. "WALL-E," $3 million.


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