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Weekend Estimates: Dark Knight Sets New Weekend Record

July 20th, 2008

After a massive opening day on Friday, a new weekend record looked inevitable for The Dark Knight, and it delivered the goods this morning with Warner Bros. estimating an opening weekend total of $155.34 million. Since the movie actually scored better on Friday than originally projected, it seems likely that WB is being cautious in their projection, and a good day on Sunday could see the movie come close to $160 million when all is said and done.

Inevitably, many new records have been set this weekend. As well as delivering the biggest weekend (see complete list), all three days that Dark Knight has been in release are in the top 20 single days of all time (see complete list), including Friday's all-time record, now estimated at $67.85 million. It's also the third movie to reach $100 million in only its second day in release (see complete list).

Perhaps most significantly for the industry, though, this will be the biggest weekend at the box office ever. Even with only the top 12 estimates, the combined total is over $250 million, which is far ahead of the record weekend, July 7, 2006, which totaled $218 million across all 119 movies that we tracked.

The huge total for the weekend is thanks to three factors. First, of course, the huge opening for Dark Knight. Second, the fact that four other movies will top $10 million this weekend, and three more will earn over $5 million. But finally, we have another record being set, with Mamma Mia! earning an estimated $27.6 million. If that number holds, the ABBA musical will just beat Hairspray's $27.4 million opening this weekend last year, the previous biggest opening weekend for a musical.

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Dark Knight, Mamma Mia!