‘The Dark Knight’ has biggest weekend ever

July 20, 2008 | 11:27 p.m.

Batflight_3We’ve been following the unfolding story of “The Dark Knight” and its massive opening weekend and as Sunday afternoon winds down, my colleague here at The Times, Ken Bensinger, has the lowdown:

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.

More in: Uncategorized, Batman, The Dark Knight

Comments


11 Responses to ‘The Dark Knight’ has biggest weekend ever

  1. clearvoice says:

    Just remember kids, grow up, read the LA Times, do drugs, overdose and kill yourself, and Hollywood will call you a hero. They will even give you an award and try to call it an accident.

  2. name says:

    I'd rather just read the article. your comments were stupid and worthless

  3. Tom Carter says:

    What's interesting is America's obsession with superhero films compared with the rest of the world. I am presently living in Japan, where most things from American pop culture are co-opted – except comic movies. Japan has their own very insular comic industry (Anime, Manga) and believe me, the super friends aren't allowed in the club. Despite huge U.S. openings this summer for Iron Man, Hulk and The Dark Night, these movies are not being shown at ANY cineplex in Japan. Whether this is because Japanese kids can’t accept any comic character who doesn’t have big round watery eyes and wispy hair, or the Japanese government has ordered a nationalistic tariff against American comic movies to protect their own comic industry, remains for LA Times investigative reporters to uncover.

  4. sm says:

    Comic book hero movies are big because they are cool, also many good storylines are already written. It is easy for writers in Hollywood to just modify the comic to a script.

  5. Adam says:

    It is always going to be the nastalgia of America's youth that will appeal to the masses and we will shell out the 10 dollars a pop to see the movie.

  6. Mr. Payne says:

    Yes, I would like to comment about the first person on this comment board, I believe he or she is named clearvoice. It is so very sad that such a pathetic, jealosy filled rant, littered with stupidity and hatred would be aloud on this site. You (whoever you are) obviously cannot stand the fact that your own family cannot or will not approve of who you are or have become and probably hate you, therefor you must ripp down and tear apart other people who you do not know to make your meaningless life feal important. You make me sick and you should probably consider jumping off of a really tall building somewhere and making the rest of us and your family happy! L O S E R !

  7. freespeech says:

    Heath Ledger was perfect as the Joker in this movie.

  8. transparentobsidian says:

    What is truly clear, is that of all the minute details – that do of course exist – of whatever it was precisely that happened to Mr. Ledger, the public is either never going to get to know all of those details, or else possibly just not for a very long time indeed.
    And therefore, -nothing- more than that about why -exactly- he is dead can actually be clear to the public now.
    To say otherwise, or even imply it, is to be a very disrespectful slimebag to the suffering that he and his family definitely went through.
    And yes, I -have- seen enough evidence that when people turn to drugs, the suffering has -always- come first, not the other way around. Still, it does always magnify the suffering very greatly indeed, that is certainly true as well. Granted, when -some- kids/teens turn to trugs, the suffering they have endured in their lives may have been small. – But never, just never, has it not been there. – And it is a very rare thing that it has been in a small portion either. And therein lies the rub, all the details no longer matter, if you want to smear him now, then you're one joker of a slimebag no matter what the whole truth is.
    Yeah, -maybe- he was "guilty" of causing his own demise, and -maybe- he was even "guilty" of -wanting- to die, and -maybe- because the world is full of heartless slimebags, who knows.

  9. Jerm says:

    well… whatever you guys say heath ledger deserves an oscar for what he did in this movie. Simply amazing

  10. ThirdEye says:

    About the infamous first comment, people shouldn't be so fustrated about it, everyone has the right to have an opinion. As far as I'm concerned I took it as a sarcastic picture of our society, but frankly it didn't hurt me that much considering I already had my opinion of Heath Ledger as a commited actor (play a gay dude without behing gay that's commitement). Also seeing him doing the best joker I ever saw confirms my opinion, you should definitely see this batman but not only for that performance but also because it's a great movie. So please don't download it go see it, and buy it once on dvd.

  11. Trevor says:

    the movie was that good. it deserved to set these records. it exceeded the high standard set by "batman begins".

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