Around-the-World Roundup: 'Dark Knight Rises' Joins Billionaire Club
by Ray Subers
The Dark Knight Rises
September 4, 2012
Thanks to a massive opening in China, The Dark Knight Rises is now the 13th movie ever to reach $1 billion worldwide. Including Monday domestic grosses, The Dark Knight Rises has now made over $1.01 billion, which means sometime this weekend it passed The Dark Knight ($1.003 billion) to become the highest-grossing Batman movie ever.
Since opening last Monday, The Dark Knight Rises has earned $31 million in China. That's not quite the highest opening so far this year (that title belongs to Titanic 3D) but it is way up on The Avengers ($17.4 million) at least. The movie also debuted this weekend in Italy, where it earned $9.1 million including previews. That tally alone is 73 percent of The Dark Knight's total there, indicating that Italy will be a growth market for the three-quel. Through Sunday, the movie's foreign total was at a very impressive $577.7 million, and it will cross $600 million by next weekend.
The Batman series joins Pirates of the Caribbean as the only franchises with two $1 billion movies. The Dark Knight Rises is also now the second movie (after Avatar) to reach $100 million in worldwide IMAX grosses.
Based on the current trajectory, it's likely that The Dark Knight Rises winds up closing with just below $1.1 billion in worldwide grosses. That will be good for seventh place on the all-time worldwide chart, and third place all-time for a 2D-only title.
In a bizarre attempt to suppress ticket sales for imports, the China Film Group scheduled The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-Man on the same weekend. Spider-Man actually came out slightly ahead: the movie scored an incredible $32.5 million since it debuted on Monday. That's more than Spider-Man 3 made in its entire run there, which is due to the rapid expansion of the market and the addition of 3D. The Amazing Spider-Man has now earned $474.5 million overseas (more than any Spider-Man movie except the third one) for a worldwide total of $735.1 million (still the lowest in the franchise).
The Expendables 2 grossed at least $26.4 million overseas this weekend. The action sequel had strong first place debuts in Germany ($4.2 million), Brazil ($3.7 million) and Australia ($3.1 million), and has now earned over $102 million in foreign markets.
Brave added $12.9 million this weekend for a new foreign total of $237.6 million. On a worldwide basis, it has now grossed over $470 million, and it is on pace to become the eighth Pixar movie (and sixth-in-a-row) to pass $500 million worldwide.
Total Recall continued its decent overseas campaign this weekend with a $4.4 million first-place start in the United Kingdom. Overall, the movie earned $12.6 million for a total of $98.3 million.
The Bourne Legacy took in another $12.4 million this weekend, which brings its total to $62.1 million. It took first place in Russia with $3.7 million, which is up 60 percent on The Bourne Ultimatum's debut. Next weekend, the Bourne reboot/spin-off expands in to South Korea, Brazil, Italy and more.
Coinciding with its first-place domestic opening, supernatural horror movie The Possession debuted with $5 million from 17 foreign markets this weekend. It did okay in the U.K. ($1.5 million) and Russia ($1.2 million), but was comparatively much stronger in Mexico where it took second place with $926,000.
The Avengers added $3.9 million this weekend for a new overseas total of $882.3 million. Including its domestic tally, and it is now the third movie ever to earn over $1.5 billion worldwide.