Warner Bros. Pictures
Beware, Lord Vader.
The Dark Knight brought its overall domestic gross to $441.5 million today, per Exhibitor Relations estimates, moving the film to third among the all-time box-office champs, and leaving it perhaps only a week away from trumping Star Wars for second place.
The Batman movie's Friday-Sunday take of $26 million gave the blockbuster its fourth-straight weekend box-office win—a feat not accomplished since Lord of the Rings: Return of the King ruled in 2003-04.
Assuming the studio estimates hold, the weekend gross moved Dark Knight up four spots on the all-time list, as the film bypassed Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ($423 million), Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace ($431 million), E.T. ($435 million) and Shrek 2 ($441.2 million).
If The Dark Knight maintains its current pace, the movie should have enough momentum to overtake the original Star Wars ($461 million, including rereleases) by the end of next weekend.
After Star Wars, the next box-office challenge for The Dark Knight will be to break $500 million.
After that, the next box-office challenge will be to break Titanic ($601 million).
And after that, it can rest.
Here's a recap of the top-grossing weekend films based on Friday-Sunday estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:
- The Dark Knight, $26 million
- Pineapple Express, $22.4 million
- The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon, $16.1 million
- The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, $10.8 million
- Step Brothers, $8.9 million
- Mamma Mia!, $8.1 million
- Journey to the Center of the Earth, $4.9 million
- Hancock, $3.3 million
- Swing Vote, $3.1 million
- WALL-E, $3 million