News

Weekly Chart Review: 'Batman Begins' Tops $200M

by Brandon Gray
Christian Bale stars in Batman Begins
August 13, 2005

A guide to the significant happenings at the box office for the week ending Aug. 11, 2005.

Milestones
Batman Begins swooped past the $200 million mark on Thursday, Aug. 11, the picture's 58th day of release. The Dark Knight's return is the 61st movie to cross the milestone in history, including five other superhero movies, such as the 1989 original Batman with its $251.2 million tally.

For the year, Batman Begins is the third highest grossing picture behind Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith and War of the Worlds, but has arguably had the more impressive run. Fueled in part by strong word of mouth and a bustling, simultaneous release on IMAX, Batman Begins overcame the trauma that the dud, Batman and Robin, inflicted on the franchise in 1997, and it has showed the most longevity of all the summer tent poles after its somewhat disappointing $48.7 million opening weekend.

Of the Batman movies, only the first one held up better at the box office than Batman Begins. However, in terms of tickets sold, Batman Begins—with admissions estimated at over 30 million—ranks significantly behind the first three movies, but well ahead of Batman and Robin.

In addition to becoming the second highest grossing traditional documentary, March of the Penguins became the widest in history. On Friday, Aug. 12, distributor Warner Independent Pictures expanded the nature documentary to 2,063 theaters, toppling Fahrenheit 9/11's 2,011-theater record.

Meanwhile, Revenge of the Sith climbed to No. 12 on the all time worldwide chart. Its total rose to $819 million, inching past Independence Day. War of the Worlds eclipsed Mission: Impossible II as Tom Cruise highest worldwide grosser at $550 million.

Related Charts: Batman Franchise | Superhero Movies | Documentaries | Slowest to $200 Million | 2005 Domestic Box Office | All Time Worldwide

Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon in Fever Pitch
End-of-Run
On Aug. 7, 20th Century Fox closed Fever Pitch at a modest $42.1 million after 122 days of release. Opening on April 8, the $30 million Boston Red Sox-themed romantic comedy had a soft $12.4 million start, but saved some face with decent holds in its first few weeks. It will hit DVD on Sept. 13.

Two poorly-performing comedies from June were put to pasture on Aug. 11. Universal Pictures ceased tracking of Hilary Duff vehicle, The Perfect Man, at $16.3 million, while Paramount Pictures' The Honeymooners ended at $12.8 million.

Among limited releases, Focus Features extinguished My Summer of Love at just over $1 million, while Miramax stopped The Warrior at $50,257.

Date Shifts
Focus Features pushed back The Constant Gardener from Aug. 26 to Wednesday, Aug. 31. The Ralph Fiennes thriller is scheduled to bow at 1,200 theaters and will compete over the Labor Day weekend with Transporter 2, A Sound of Thunder and Underclassman. The release mirrors Focus' handling of Vanity Fair on Labor Day weekend last year. The Reese Witherspoon drama also opened on a Wednesday and made $7.4 million in six days. It closed with $16.1 million.

Related Chart: Release Schedule Changes

More Related Links
Weekly Box Office Results - August 5-11, 2005
• Weekend Report: 'Dukes' Charge the Top Spot, Emperors 'March' On



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