Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Batman Dark Knight Sets Weekend Record with $155.34M

Batman “The Dark Knight” has put itself as king of Hollywood's box-office superheroes.

In its first weekend, Batman "The Dark Knight" has took in a record $155.34 million, topping the previous best of $151.1 million for "Spider-Man 3" in May 2007 and pacing Hollywood to its biggest weekend ever, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros. has never expected that Batman “The Dark Knight” to dominate the marketplace. He optimists that the movie should shoot past the $200 million mark by the end of the week.

According to box-office tracker Media By Numbers, Hollywood set an overall revenue record of $253 million for a three-day weekend, beating the $218.4 million haul over the weekend of July 7, 2006.

Nevertheless, factoring in higher admission prices, "Spider-Man 3" may have sold slightly more tickets than "The Dark Knight." At 2007's average price of $6.88, "Spider-Man 3" sold 21.96 million tickets over opening weekend. Media By Numbers estimates today's average movie prices at $7.08 that means "The Dark Knight" would have sold 21.94 million tickets.

The movie's release was preceded by months of speculation and buzz over the performance of the late Heath Ledger (who died in January from an accidental prescription-drug overdose) as the Joker, Batman's nemesis. Ledger played the Joker as a demonic presence, his performance prompting predictions that the role might earn him a posthumous Academy Award nomination.

According to Paul Dergarabedian, president of Media By Numbers, the average opening gross of the last five Batman movies is $47 million. This achievement is tripled than before movies. The big part of Batman “The Dark Knight” movie was the Heath Ledger mystique and a phenomenal performance that absolutely deserves the excitement surrounding it.

Batman "The Dark Knight" reunites director Christopher Nolan with his "Batman Begins" star Christian Bale, whose vigilante crime-fighter is tested and taunted by Ledger's Joker as the villain unleashes chaos and violence on the city of Gotham.

Batman "The Dark Knight," that cost $185 million to make, also broke the "Spider-Man 3" record for best debut in IMAX large-screen theaters with $6.2 million. "Spider-Man 3" opened with $4.7 million in IMAX cinemas. Moreover, Batman "The Dark Knight" also took in more money than previously counted. The film pulled in a record $67.85 million, up nearly $1.5 million from the studio's estimates a day earlier. The previous opening-day record also had been held by "Spider-Man 3" with $59.8 million.

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