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Dark Knight Continues to Light Up Box Office

August 4th, 2008

For the third weekend in a row, The Dark Knight came out on top at the box office -- the first time this year we've had a three-time champ. Unfortunately, the film didn't come out on top because it beat expectations by a massive margin, but because The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor missed expectations. That led to a drop at the overall box office by just over 15% from last weekend to $153 million. This is also lower than the same weekend last year by just under 14%. Meanwhile, 2008's and 2007's year-to-date numbers are nearly identical at $5.93 billion, with this year a tiny, tiny amount lower.

The Dark Knight didn't break any major records this weekend, but it came awfully close with $42.66 million, which was the second best third weekend of release. Meanwhile, its running tally reached $393.75 million, just missing the $400 million mark after 17 days. It will break the record for fastest to $400 million, but it will just take one or two more days to get there. I'm still hearing some talk of The Dark Knight breaking Titanic's record of just over $600 million, but that's not going to happen. On the other hand, Star Wars: A New Hope is practically guaranteed to lose its second place spot on the All Time Chart while $500 million got a little more likely over the weekend.

It's been seven years since The Mummy Returns, and while the franchise has slowed down at the box office, Tomb of the Dragon Emperor's opening weekend was still pretty good. Granted, $40.46 million over the past three days gives the film the smallest opening in the trilogy, but it is in the top ten August weekends. On the downside, this latest installment cost almost as much as the previous two films combined cost to make, and with awful, awful reviews, there's almost no chance the movie will have any legs theatrically, but early reports suggest it will do much better internationally and earning a profit during its initial push into the home market is not out of the question.

Step Brothers matched expectations nearly perfectly with $16.51 million over the weekend for a total of $63.17 million. At this pace, the film should reach $100 million almost exactly.

Speaking of $100 million, Mamma Mia! is about a week away from getting there after pulling in $12.62 million over the weekend. While it could hit $100 million next weekend, it could earn $125 million, or more in total. An excellent run.

Journey to the Center of the Earth is being aided by 3-D to stretch its run and combined with weak competition it was able to stay in fifth place for the third weekend in a row. Over the past three days the film made $6.66 million for a total of $72.93 million. At this pace, $90 million is getting more and more likely, while $100 million isn't out of the question, but the studio might have to give it a small push to get there.

The combined drag of a low theater count, poor reviews, and the political story sunk Swing Vote as it missed the top five. Granted, with $6.23 million it was close, but that's not likely to make the studio any happier and $20 million is likely out of reach.

Moving onto the sophomore class, X-Files: I Want To Believe was smacked hard by the Fanboy Effect, down more than 66% to $3.39 million over the weekend and $17.02 million in total. A low production budget and increased sales for the TV series could help it show a profit eventually. Eventually.

One last note, WALL-E became the sixth film of the year to reach $200 million and is close to overtaking Kung Fu Panda for fifth place for the year.


Filed under: The Dark Knight, WALL-E, Mamma Mia!, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Step Brothers, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, Swing Vote