News

'Dark Knight' Still Ablaze in Fourth Week

by Brandon Gray
Christian Bale in The Dark Knight
August 14, 2008

The Dark Knight spent its fourth consecutive week at No. 1, though overall business was down from the same timeframe last year due to a lack of new blockbusters. It's the first time this decade that a summer movie has reigned that long, a feat achieved through a combination of massive grosses and a relatively modest slate of pictures beneath it.

On Wednesday, its 27th day of release, The Dark Knight crossed the $450 million mark and firmly stood as the third-highest grossing picture of all time, surpassing Shrek 2 and with Star Wars in its sights. Of course, Dark Knight trails those movies if their grosses are adjusted for national ticket price inflation, which gives a better indication of theatrical popularity. By that measure, Dark Knight hit another important milestone this week as it became the biggest Batman movie on the all time adjusted chart. The $251 million final gross of the movie that kicked off the blockbuster franchise, Batman from 1989, would equal nearly $450 million today.

Over the weekend, The Dark Knight continued to hold well by summer event standards, down 39 percent to $26.1 million on approximately 7,100 screens at 4,025 theaters. Included in that gross was an estimated $3.1 million from IMAX locations and that portion was off 21 percent. The format now accounts for over seven percent of the total.

Pineapple Express opened in second place with a $23.2 million weekend on around 4,200 screens at 3,072 venues. The $27 million stoner action-comedy's initial grosses were on the high end of its sub-genre, and 58 percent of its audience was male, according to distributor Sony. While Pineapple's weekend was lower than its Seth Rogen-Judd Apatow brethren (Superbad, Knocked Up), its full week was on par. Its pre-weekend debut set an August record for a Wednesday gross: $12.3 million.

This week, Tropic Thunder didn't make nearly as big a splash as last week's Pineapple Express in its Wednesday opening. The Hollywood action spoof nabbed a solid $6.5 million on close to 4,700 screens at 3,319 locations. Its movie industry-related humor is a trickier sell than Pineapple's slacker variety, which may have led to a smaller opening rush.

Faring very well but on a more demure scale, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 brought in $10.7 million over the weekend on around 3,000 screens at 2,707 sites. The $27 million follow-up to the 2005 relationship drama, a sub-genre that rarely sees sequels let alone successful ones, has exceeded its predecessor in its first week and a half.

Among holdovers, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor unraveled 59 percent over the weekend to $16.5 million, which was a much steeper drop than the previous Mummy movies. It's also by far the least attended through the same point. On the other hand, another adventure featuring Brendan Fraser, Journey to the Center of the Earth, had the best hold of the weekend, down 27 percent to $4.9 million, though it's in the same range in overall attendance.

Meanwhile, Step Brothers continued to track similarly to Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy when adjusted for ticket price inflation, and Mamma Mia! skipped past $100 million and led the comparably released Hairspray from last year by a $13 million plus margin through their fourth weeks.

RELATED STORIES
8/6/08 - 'Dark Knight' Soars Past $400 Million
7/23/08 - 'Dark Knight' Begins Smashingly
8/13/07 - 'Rush Hour 3' Packs Less Punch (Same Weekend, 2007)
8/14/06 - 'Step Up' Stands Out, 'World Trade Center' Sturdy (Same Weekend, 2006)
8/15/05 - 'Four Brothers,' 'Skeleton Key' Bury 'Deuce Bigalow' (Same Weekend, 2005)

RELATED CHARTS
Weekend Box Office Results
All Time Grosses
All Time Grosses - Adjusted for Inflation
'Batman' Franchise
Stoner/Slacker Movies



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