The Dark Knight Rises box office: third consecutive weekend at the top. (Photo: Bane and Batman [Tom Hardy and Christian Bale] get ready to dance.) Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises has remained the no. 1 movie at the North American box office this weekend, Aug. 3-5. That marks the third Batman movie's third weekend at the top. Cosmic? Perhaps, but The Dark Knight Rises needs to stay one more weekend in the no. 1 slot in order to match The Dark Knight's four-weekend-at-the-top run.
Note: TDKR's competition will be fierce next weekend. Opening in the U.S. and Canada are the Meryl Streep vehicle Hope Springs (actually opening on Wednesday), directed by The Devil Wears Prada's David Frankel, and co-starring Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell; the Jay Roach-directed comedy The Campaign, with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis; and Tony Gilroy's The Bourne Identity reboot / sequel / spin-off (or whatever) The Bourne Legacy, starring Jeremy Renner (instead of Matt Damon), Rachel Weisz, and Edward Norton.
The Dark Knight Rises' only competition this weekend was Len Wiseman's widely panned Total Recall reboot, which opened on Friday at 3,601 sites. Starring Colin Farrell, who hasn't had much luck at the domestic box office of late, Kate Beckinsale, and Jessica Biel, Wiseman's sci-fier / actioner had to content itself with a disappointing second place debut.
The Dark Knight Rises weekend box office: lower drop-off rate
The Dark Knight Rises earned (or rather, is earning) an estimated $36.44 million this weekend according to Box Office Mojo. If studio estimates are accurate -- last weekend they were off by $2 million -- that represents a 41 percent drop from a week ago. Nothing too steep; though not exactly a "minor" drop either for a movie on its third weekend out. On the other hand, that's certainly better than the 45 percent drop-off rate I was expecting yesterday.
For comparison's sake: The Dark Knight was down 43 percent on its third weekend, but its second weekend take was an impressive $75m.Coming down from a mammoth $103.5 million on weekend no. 2, The Avengers suffered a 46 percent drop on its third weekend out earlier this year. The Dark Knight Rises' box office take last weekend was considerably more modest than either TDK or The Avengers: $62m.
The real good news: thanks to $67 million from international territories, The Dark Knight Rises has passed the $700m milestone at the worldwide box office this weekend. TDKR's current cume is $733.03m. Although Nolan's "Batman Rises" movie will have trouble matching its predecessor at the domestic box office, it will almost certainly surpass "Batman 2" internationally.
In fact, unlike The Dark Knight, which was a bigger box office hit in North American than overseas, The Dark Knight Rises is already bigger abroad: 51.6 percent internationally vs. 48.4 percent in the United States/Canada. For comparison's sake: The Dark Knight domestic vs. international percentages were: 53.2 percent vs. 46.8 percent.
Another TDKR vs. TDK comparison: on Day 17, The Dark Knight had earned $393.75 million at the U.S. and Canada box office in summer 2008; The Dark Knight Rises estimated domestic box office gross after 17 days is $354.63m. That's a near $40m gap -- without taking inflation or costlier IMAX screenings into account.
The Dark Knight Rises cast
The Dark Knight Rises' stars Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Matthew Modine, and Tom Conti. Director Christopher Nolan co-wrote the TDKR screenplay with his brother Jonathan Nolan, who has said that the film's setting was inspired by Charles Dickens' novel of the French Revolution, A Tale of Two Cities.
"THE DARK KNIGHT RISES Box Office: Passes $700m" Bane / Batman (Tom Hardy / Christian Bale) photo: Ron Philips / Warner Bros.