'Dark Knight' earns $160.9M in wake of tragedy

Associated Press + More

By DERRIK J. LANG, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "The Dark Knight Rises" earned a sizeable $160.9 million over the weekend, making it the biggest 2-D opening ever, but falling slightly below expectations following the mass shooting at a Colorado screening of the Batman film.

Warner Bros. said Monday that the final installment of director Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy earned $160,887,295.

The debut makes "The Dark Knight Rises" the biggest 2-D opening ever ahead of its 2008 predecessor, "The Dark Knight." It also gives the movie the third-largest opening after the 3-D films "The Avengers" with $207.4 million and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2" with $169.2 million.

Despite the impressive $160.9 million opening, "The Dark Knight Rises" fell somewhat below box office expectations going into the weekend, which ranged from $170 million to $200 million.

"Clearly, 'The Dark Knight Rises' was on everyone's minds," said Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst for Hollywood.com who specializes in box office. "I think the American public showed they were not going to be sacred away from the movie theater by the actions of a lunatic."

Dergarabedian called the film's opening "extremely impressive given the tragic events that unfolded on Friday."

"Dark Knight Rises" earned $19.1 million alone from IMAX screenings. Tickets for 3-D and IMAX films cost a few more dollars than 2-D screenings, netting extra cash at the box office. Movies released in 3-D typically earn under half of their income in 3-D screenings, sometimes as little as a third.

Sony, Fox, Disney, Paramount, Universal and Lionsgate joined "Dark Knight Rises" distributor Warner Bros. in publicly withholding their usual revenue reports this weekend until Monday. They did so out of respect for the victims and their families after the mass shooting that left 12 dead and 58 wounded at a midnight screening of the movie in Aurora, Colo.

Following behind "Dark Knight Rises" in the No. 2 spot was "Ice Age: Continental Drift," the animated Fox film which dropped 56 percent in its second weekend to $20.4 million, and the Sony superhero reboot "The Amazing Spider-Man," which earned $10.9 million during its third weekend at the box office, in the No. 3 position.

The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by Hollywood.com are:

1. "The Dark Knight Rises," Warner Bros., $160,887,295, 4,404 locations, $36,532 average, $160,887,295, one week.

2. "Ice Age: Continental Drift," Fox, $20,416,978, 3,886 locations, $5,254 average, $88,840,284, two weeks.

3. "The Amazing Spider-Man," Sony, $10,887,111, 3,753 locations, $2,901 average, $228,611,425, three weeks.

4. "Ted," Universal, $10,011,310, 3,214 locations, $3,115 average, $180,431,425, four weeks.

5. "Brave," Disney, $6,024,987, 2,899 locations, $2,078 average, $208,774,173, five weeks.

6. "Magic Mike," Warner Bros., $4,291,432, 2,606 locations, $1,647 average, $101,966,459, four weeks.

7. "Savages," Universal, $3,398,880, 2,336 locations, $1,455 average, $40,055,075, three weeks.

8. "Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection," Lionsgate, $2,253,074, 1,540 locations, $1,463 average, $60,289,622, four weeks.

9. "Moonrise Kingdom," Focus Features, $1,831,471, 895 locations, $2,046 average, $36,087,959, nine weeks.

10. "To Rome With Love," Sony, $1,420,891, 552 locations, $2,574 average, $11,107,993, five weeks.

11. "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," Paramount, $1,350,946, 1,261 locations, $1,071 average, $207,626,201, seven weeks.

12. "Katy Perry: Part of Me," Paramount, $1,148,494, 1,123 locations, $1,023 average, $22,612,706, three weeks.

13. "Beasts of the Southern Wild," Fox Searchlight, $763,443, 129 locations, $5,918 average, $2,855,142, four weeks.

14. "The Avengers," Disney, $620,411, 495 locations, $1,253 average, $615,058,425, 12 weeks.

15. "Snow White & the Huntsman," Universal, $427,405, 409 locations, $1,045 average, $152,589,315, eight weeks.

16. "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," Fox Searchlight, $416,791, 288 locations, $1,447 average, $43,852,771, 12 weeks.

17. "The Intouchables," Weinstein Co., $313,547, 91 locations, $3,446 average, $7,072,702, nine weeks.

18. "Prometheus," Fox, $310,395, 312 locations, $995 average, $125,113,489, seven weeks.

19. "Rock of Ages," Warner Bros., $282,945, 322 locations, $879 average, $37,966,435, six weeks.

20. "Men in Black 3," Sony, $260,264, 266 locations, $978 average, $175,476,727, nine weeks.

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Online:

http://www.hollywood.com

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Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by News Corp.; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

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AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang is on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang.

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