“The Dark Knight” broke more box office records in its second weekend of release, as it crossed the $300 million mark in just 10 days.
The “Batman Begins” sequel grossed another $75.6 million over the weekend, again topping the box office and bringing its total gross to more than $314 million, according to the Associated Press.
The widely praised comic book movie became the fastest movie to ever break the $300 million barrier, zipping past 2006′s ”Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” which took 16 days to plunder $300 million.
The Batman film’s $75.6 million (if that estimated number holds, which it probably will) also made it the new record holder for biggest second weekend take, according to Entertainment Weekly. It topped the $72.7 million “Shrek 2″ made in its second weekend in theaters back in 2004.
Warner Bros. head of distribution Dan Fellman told the AP today that “The Dark Knight” could reach the $400 million mark in about 18 days. That would demolish the “Shrek 2″ record set by making $400 million in 43 days.
Fellman told the AP he was surprised that the Batman movie made $300 million in just a week and a half.
“What can you say? We’ve been getting a lot of repeat business coming in,” Fellman told the AP. “Our audience is expanding, like you would expect with terrific word-of-mouth and strong reviews. Our audience is getting a little bit older, that’s the good news. We’re finding the younger demographic, male and female, coming back.”
Paul Dergarabedian, president of Media By Numbers, told the AP that “The Dark Knight” has a legitimate shot of surpassing James Cameron’s 1997 epic “Titanic” as the highest-grossing film in U.S. history. “Titanic” made $600,788,188 domestically, a huge, seemingly untouchable record – until now.
“The `Titanic’ record has sat in a lock box for 10 years. It’s a tall order but if any film has a chance to surpass that number, it’s got to be `Dark Knight,’” Dergarabedian told the AP.
Believe it or not, there are other movies at theaters, and Will Ferrell’s new comedy “Step Brothers” opened in the No. 2 slot with a respectable $30 million.
The raunchy R-rated comedy puts Ferrell back in prime box office shape. “Step Brothers” raked in almost as much in one weekend as Ferrell’s last movie, the comic basketball flop “Semi-Pro,” did in its entire theatrical run. (“Semi-Pro made $33.5 million the entire time it was in theaters, according to EW.)
“We’d hoped to be in the mid-to-high $20 (millions), so to hit $30 (million) is a great start,” Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony, told the AP. “Having the chemistry of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly together again, reuniting with (director) Adam McKay who did `Talladega Nights,’ it’s great. They both immerse themselves and the humor comes from their connection.”
In the No. 3 spot, it was another flashback to last weekend, with the movie version of the ABBA musical “Mamma Mia!” singing and dancing its way to another $17.9 million.
According to EW, the effervescent musical’s second weekend gross dropped only 36 percent from its opening weekend. See, I told you those peppy ABBA songs are tough to resist.
The news wasn’t so perky for the other new release at the box office (besides “Step Brothers”). The sequel “The X-Files: I Want to Believe” made an estimated $10.2 million for fourth place.
Released 10 years after the last movie and six years after the sci-fi TV series went off the air, the sequel clearly didn’t make people believe they wanted to spend money on it.
“The hardcore `X-Files’ fans, they’re happy. And frankly, that’s who the movie was made for,” Chris Aronson, distribution executive for 20th Century Fox, told the AP.
Here are the top 10 movies for the weekend. Notice Will Smith’s “Hancock” sitting pretty in sixth place after its July 4 weekend release. The superhero movie made $8.2 million this weekend, which pushes it past the $200 million mark, according to the AP.
1. “The Dark Knight,” $75.63 million.
2. “Step Brothers,” $30 million.
3. “Mamma Mia!” $17.9 million.
4. “The X-Files: I Want to Believe,” $10.2 million.
5. “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” $9.4 million.
6. “Hancock,” $8.2 million.
7. “WALL-E,” $6.3 million.
8. “Hellboy II: The Golden Army,” $4.9 million.
9. “Space Chimps,” $4.4 million.
10. “Wanted,” $2.7 million.