LOS ANGELES (AP) -September1, 2008
"The Dark Knight" on Sunday became the second movie in
Hollywood history to top $500 million at the domestic box office,
raising its total to $502.4 million, according to estimates from
distributor Warner Bros.
The film hit that mark in just over six weeks, half the time it
took "Titanic," which reached $500 million in a little more than
three months. "Titanic," the biggest modern blockbuster, remains
No. 1 on the domestic charts with $600.8 million.
Despite its brisk pace, "The Dark Knight" is not expected to
approach the total for "Titanic," which put up smaller numbers
week after week but lingered at the top of the box office for
Dan Fellman, head of distribution at Warner Bros., said he
expects "The Dark Knight" to finish at about $530 million, though
it could reach $550 million if business persists as strongly as it
"I keep raising the number because it just keeps holding better
than expected," Fellman said.
"The Dark Knight" will climb to about $505 million by Labor
Day, the conclusion of Hollywood's busy summer season. That amounts
to nearly one-eighth of Hollywood's overall summer revenue of $4.2
billion, which edges the previous summer record of $4.18 billion
set last year, according to box-office tracker Media By Numbers.
Factoring in today's higher admission prices, "The Dark
Knight" would need to take in about $900 million to match the
number of tickets sold by "Titanic."
Labor Day weekend was generally sleepy at theaters, with a rush
of new movies failing to find much favor with audiences. Through
Sunday, Paramount's comedy "Tropic Thunder" remained No. 1 for
the third straight weekend with $11.5 million.
The 20th Century Fox sci-fi thriller "Babylon A.D." with Vin
Diesel debuted in second place with $9.7 million, while Overture
Films' espionage drama "Traitor," starring Don Cheadle, opened at
No. 5 with $7.9 million.
Premiering at No. 7 was Lionsgate's spoof flick "Disaster
Movie" with $6.2 million. MGM's campus comedy "College" opened
well outside the top 10 with $2.1 million.
The top 12 movies took in $75.2 million, down 23 percent from
the same weekend last year, when "Halloween" opened with $26.4
"This is kind of an inauspicious end to a really incredible
summer," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Media By Numbers.
"We limped past the finish line."
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