The Dark Knight Rises weekend box office grosses. (Image: Bane / Tom Hardy, Batman / Christian Bale.) Overall, the North American box office was clearly affected by the early Friday, July 20, shooting rampage at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, a suburb of Denver; a mad gunman killed 12 people and injured 60 others. This past weekend, only two among the top twelve movies had drop-off rates below 50 percent; the previous weekend, only one among the movies on the top-twelve chart had a drop-off rate above 50 percent.
The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan's third and final Batman movie, grossed $160.88 million at 4,404 North American theaters over the July 20-22 weekend. That figure includes $30.6 million from Thursday midnight screenings. That's about $20m-$25 million less than early Friday box office estimates indicated, and nearly $10m less than late Friday/Saturday estimates indicated.
Following the Colorado tragedy, The Dark Knight Rises distributor Warner Bros. announced it wasn't going to release box office figures over the weekend. Every major Hollywood studio and the box office tracking organization Rentrak followed suit. However, on Sunday "box-office insiders" were predicting that TDKR would end up grossing between $160m-$162m. [See also: Christopher Nolan statement on behalf of The Dark Knight Rises' cast and crew, and Christian Bale statement and Anne Hathaway statement regarding the shooting.]
The Dark Knight Rises weekend box office: 2D record gross, but not ticket sales
The Dark Knight Rises is now officially third among the biggest opening weekends ever in the U.S. and Canada, trailing only Joss Whedon / Chris Hemsworth / Chris Evans' The Avengers' $207.43 million and David Yates / Daniel Radcliffe / Ralph Fiennes' Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2's $169.18m. Note that three of the five highest-grossing opening weekends in North America are 2012 releases: in addition to The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, there's Gary Ross / Jennifer Lawrence / Josh Hutcherson / Liam Hemsworth's The Hunger Games at no. 4. [See also: The Dark Knight Rises midnight box office record.]
Since both The Avengers and Deathly Hallows 2 are 3D productions, The Dark Knight Rises has been proclaimed the 2D movie champ when it comes to opening weekends at the domestic box office. The previous 2D champ was Christopher Nolan's own "Batman 2" movie, The Dark Knight. Starring Christian Bale and the then-recently deceased Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight brought in $158.41 million in late July 2008.
Now, box office charts that don't take inflation into account are all but useless. If inflation is factored in (to better reflect actual ticket sales), The Dark Knight easily remains no. 1: the film's $158.41 million debut-weekend gross would be approximately $174.7 million today.
In other words, back in summer 2008, The Dark Knight sold many more tickets than The Dark Knight Rises – even without accounting for TDKR's IMAX surcharges. Bear in mind that The Dark Knight Rises earned $19 million from 332 IMAX houses; The Dark Knight opened at only 94 IMAX locations.
The Dark Knight Rises budget, international gross
The Dark Knight Rises reportedly cost a whopping $250m; The Dark Knight's price tag was reportedly $185m.
Also worth noting, The Dark Knight Rises raked in another (estimated) $88 million in 17 international territories. TDKR's worldwide total stands at $248.88m.
Directed and co-written by Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle / Catwoman, Tom Hardy as the mad terrorist Bane, Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate, plus Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman, and Matthew Modine.
Also, Tom Conti, Josh Pence, Juno Temple, Daniel Sunjata, Nestor Carbonell, Joey King, Brett Cullen, Chris Ellis, Adam Rodriguez, Josh Stewart, Christopher Judge, and Aidan Gillen. Jonathan Nolan co-wrote the TDKR screenplay, which he said was inspired by Charles Dickens' novel of the French Revolution, A Tale of Two Cities.
"THE DARK KNIGHT RISES Weekend Box Office" / Tom Hardy as Bane, Christian Bale as Batman picture: Ron Phillips / Warner Bros.