Having broken "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" midnight sales record by grossing $18.5 million from the preview screenings, the latest Batman movie "The Dark Knight" serves up to its expectation delivering an astonishing run for the coveted #1 North American box office. Quintupling its closest competitor for the weekend, "Mamma Mia!", the Christopher Nolan-directed superhero collected an amazing $158.4 million over its three-days weekend showing.
Proving itself to be the best 2008 summer movie so far, the action-packed flick has proven the box office analysts' prediction on it crushing "Spider-Man 3" previous record as true. With the staggering number of sales, it has claimed the title of the #1 biggest weekend opener for a superhero movie topping "Spider-Man 3" record of $151.1 million and many predicted that it may go on to surpass the $200 million mark by the end of the week.
On the IMAX sales, the Christian Bale-starring movie has also beaten out "Spider-Man 3" with its $6.2 million debut compared to the Tobey Maguire's third "Spider-Man" film which collected $4.7 million from its opening week in the large-screened IMAX cinemas. Additionally, from its overseas screening, "Dark Knight" has raked in about $40 million from the 20 countries it has been viewed since Wednesday, July 16.
Commenting on the success, Warner Bros' head of distribution Dan Fellman stated, "We knew it would be big, but we never expected to dominate the marketplace like we did." Adding the possible reason to "Dark Knight" impressive run, president of Media By Numbers Paul Dergarabedian stated, "The average opening gross of the last five `Batman' movies is $47 million. This tripled that, and for a reason. A big part of that was the Heath Ledger mystique and a phenomenal performance that absolutely deserves the excitement surrounding it."
The great run of the bat-themed superhero is also followed by Meryl Streep-starrer "Mamma Mia!". Pulling in $27.8 million, the drama comedy musical, which lands the second place on the box office this weekend, also set a record of becoming the top opener for a musical film. Though the number is relatively close to the previous record holder, it manages to top the $27.5 million debut tally collected by "Hairspray" in 2007.
Concerning other box office movies, the top five also consists of "Hancock", "Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D" and "Hellboy II: The Golden Army" respectively. Slipping one slot to the third and fourth place are "Hancock" with $14 million and "Journey" with $12.3 million. Meanwhile, last week box office champion "Hellboy II" rolled down the chart to the fifth position experiencing a massive 70.7% decrease. The action fantasy movie about the big red hero only manages to add $10.1 million to its cume of $56.5 million.