Predicted to be the one summer movie that could end "The Dark Knight"'s reign at the box office, "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" fell short on the materialization of the forecast. Screened in 3,760 theaters across the country, the Rob Cohen-directed movie debuted a spot behind the reigning champion "Batman Begins" sequel.
Despite losing the coveted #1 place on the three-days weekend box office, this Brendan Fraser-starring action fantasy shows its competitive side raking in an impressive $40.5 million, roughly around two millions less than "Dark Knight" which earned $42.7 million on its third weekend. Still, if compared to the last two "Mummy" movies, the new installment can be considered to be less successful, especially both of the first two secured the #1 spot and collected more on their opening debuts, "The Mummy" with $43.4 million and "The Mummy Returns" with $68.1 million.
Failing to push aside "Dark Knight" from the domestic box office chart, "Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" reportedly made a strong debut internationally. According to Universal, it garnered about $60 million with around $13 million each of the top markets, such as Russia and South Korea. Additionally, it is Fraser's second box office hit movies in 2008 following "Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D" which still holds its position on the top five box office chart.
Switching the attention to "Dark Knight", the Christian Bale-starrer superhero flick maintained on its path to break the $400 million mark. Showing another amazing run, it has garnered in total $393.8 million dollar. With that number, the top action movie this summer is expected to cross the milestone on Monday, August 4 and will be on the run to make "Star Wars" which has a record of $461 million to be the second biggest film in history.
On the other top five box office, Will Ferrell's "Step Brothers", Meryl Streep's "Mamma Mia!" and Fraser's "Journey" filled the last three slots left respectively. "Step Brothers" on the third place hauled $16.5 million, while "Mamma Mia" on the fourth took in $12.6 million. Closing the top five is "Journey" with an additional $6.7 million for the cume of $72.9 million.