The Dark Knight Breaks Opening Weekend Record!


The Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Be sure to check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Dark Knight has earned $155.34 million to top Spider-Man 3 for best opening weekend at the box office. The weekend estimates show Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins follow-up more than $4 million ahead of the $151.1 million first weekend for Spider-Man 3 in May of 2007. The Dark Knight has also broken Spider-Man 3‘s record ($4.7 million) for best debut in IMAX theaters with $6.2 million in 94 locations. Budgeted at $180 million, the film opened in a record 4,366 theaters nationwide and broke the new single and opening day records on Friday with $67.85 million. Spider-Man 3 previously held those records with $59.8 million. Internationally, The Dark Knight added $40 million in 20 countries where it began opening Wednesday. The Dark Knight stars Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman.

Debuting in second place, Universal Pictures’ Mamma Mia! earned $27.6 million from 2,976 theaters, for an average of $9,275. Starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Julie Walters, Dominic Cooper, Amanda Seyfried and Christine Baranski, the adaptation of the ABBA musical was made for $52 million.

In third place, Will Smith’s Hancock added $14 million its third weekend to push its total to $191.5 million. Co-starring Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman and Eddie Marsan, the Columbia Pictures release cost about $150 million to make.

Fourth place belonged to the Warner Bros./New Line family adventure Journey to the Center of the Earth, which dropped a decent 43.3% in ticket sales, earning $11.9 million in its second weekend. Produced for $60 million, the Brendan Fraser, Josh Hutcherson and Anita Briem-starrer is up to $43.1 million.

Rounding out the top five, Universal’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army lost a disturbing 70.9% of its first weekend sales, making $10 million. Written and directed by Guillermo del Toro, the sequel has earned $56.4 million compared to its budget of $85 million.

Disney/Pixar’s WALL•E took in $9.8 million in its fourth weekend and has collected $182.5 million to date. The Andrew Stanton film was made for about $180 million.

Newcomer Space Chimps opened in the seventh spot with $7.4 million from 2,511 theaters. Fox’s animated film averaged $2,927 per theater.

Universal’s Wanted and Warner Bros.’ Get Smart placed eighth and ninth, making $5.1 million and $4.1 million, respectively. The former has earned $123.3 million and the latter $119.6 million.

Hollywood set an overall revenue record of $253 million for a three-day weekend, beating the $218.4 million haul over the weekend of July 7, 2006.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.