Holy opening weekend, Batman!
“The Dark Knight,” the long-awaited superhero sequel from Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures, sold an estimated $155.3 million in tickets this weekend, setting a record for biggest three-day take and cementing the primacy of superhero movies at the cineplex.
Batman’s haul surpassed the bar set last year by “Spider-Man 3″ by $4.2 million and set the pace for what turned out to be the top-grossing overall box office weekend in U.S. history, with an estimated $253 million in ticket sales. The previous top weekend was a $218 million take two years ago, when “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” opened.
Wait, did he really write “Holy opening weekend!” Yes, I’m afraid he did. Groan. I haven’t met Ken yet, and I don’t like to throw stones at my fellow staffers, but c’mon, that was a painful cliche when Batman fans read it the first time … back in 1989. It’s like using “satisfaction” in a Rolling Stones headline or yelling “Freebird!” at a concert. Please, people, can we just move on? It’s not like the 1960s television show has anything to do with this dark new movie … ah, well, whatever. Sorry. You know us fanboys, we get stirred up easily.
Anyway, more from Bensinger’s piece:
” ‘The Dark Knight’ overshadowed everything, but a rising tide lifts all ships,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box office tracking company Media by Numbers. “This was just a great weekend for the entire industry.”
The weekend’s No. 2 film, Universal Pictures’ ABBA musical “Mamma Mia!,” brought in $27.6 million, followed by Sony Pictures’ holdover “Hancock,” starring Will Smith, at $14 million.
Batman’s latest triumph means that three of the top five opening weekends of all time now belong to comic book-inspired films. The original “Spider-Man,” which brought in $118.4 million in its 2002 opening weekend, ranks No. 5 overall.
Despite huge expectations going into the release, the Caped Crusader’s sixth film was massive by practically any measure. The PG-13 movie set the record for top single-day receipts on Friday, hauling in $67.85 million on a record 4,366 screens, according to Media by Numbers.
— Geoff Boucher
Photo courtesy Warner Bros.