The Dark Knight

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 IThe 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.

Drilling down through the box office standings:

  • Pineapple Express ($22.4 million) bowed in second. After five days, the Seth Rogen-James Franco action-comedy, which opened Wednesday, has taken in $40.5 million against a reported $27 million budget. True, the Rogen-penned Superbad got off to an even faster start ($43.3 million in its first five days last August). But, also true, the Superbad guys didn't have to tangle with the Batman.
  • In one of the sadder tales of the summer, The X-Files: I Want to Believe ($1.2 million, per Box Office Mojo) disappeared from the Top 10 after just a two-weekend stay. To date, the $35 million movie has failed to gross even $20 million overall, and managed to sell fewer tickets than Space Chimps ($1.7 million; $25.4 million).
  • Like the new X-Files movie, Space Chimps fell out of the Top 10. Unlike the new X-Files movie, Space Chimps lasted there three weekends.
  • In its second weekend, business for The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (third place, $16.1 million; $70.7 million overall) plunged 60 percent.
  • Now in its fourth weekend, Mamma Mia! (sixth place, $8.1 million; $104 million overall) hasn't seen weekend-to-weekend business dip even 40 percent.
  • Will Ferrell's and John C. Reilly's Step Brothers (fifth place, $8.9 million; $80.9 million) is also sticking around.
  • Let it be noted: The generally liked The Incredible Hulk ($287,000; $133.8 million overall, per Box Office Mojo) has made more money than the widely scorned Hulk ($132.2 million). Until you add in the foreign grosses.
  • The Philip Roth-spawned drama Elegy, starring Ben Kingsley and Penelope Cruz, was, screen for screen, the biggest hit of the weekend, taking in $102,441 at six theaters.

Here's a recap of the top-grossing weekend films based on Friday-Sunday estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:

  1. The Dark Knight, $26 million
  2. Pineapple Express, $22.4 million
  3. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, $16.1 million
  4. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, $10.8 million
  5. Step Brothers, $8.9 million
  6. Mamma Mia!, $8.1 million
  7. Journey to the Center of the Earth, $4.9 million
  8. Hancock, $3.3 million
  9. Swing Vote, $3.1 million
  10. WALL-E, $3 million
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.