Batman movie Dark Knight Rises tops US box office


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The Independent Culture

The Dark Knight Rises is on track to earn a record $160 million (£102m) over the weekend following the Colorado mass shooting.

Citing box office insiders, The Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times, New York Times and other media outlets reported that the latest Batman sequel earned $160-162 million.

That amount would beat the $158.4 million debut of The Dark Knight in 2008 and give Dark Knight Rises the third-highest 2-D domestic weekend opening after the 3-D films The Avengers with $207.4 million (£133m) and Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows - Part 2 with $169.2 million (£108m).

The Hollywood Reporter also cited box office sources who said Dark Knight Rises earned $70 million (£44.8m) from nine of the 17 countries where it debuted over the weekend, including the UK, Australia, South Korea and Spain.

Tickets for 3-D films cost more 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 out of respect for the Colorado victims and their families.

Box-office tracking service Rentrak also did not report figures following the Aurora shootings that killed 12 and injured 58 at a midnight screening of the new Batman sequel on Friday.

"This tragedy did not seem to impact the box office in a major way," said Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst for who specialises in box office.

"For this film to still be in the rarified air of the top-three openings of all time is phenomenal, given the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the release of this film."

Mr Dergarabedian noted that the box-office ranking of director Christopher Nolan's final instalment of his Batman trilogy would not be official until Warner Bros and other studios released their final weekend box-office tallies later today.

Anne Hathaway, who plays Catwoman in the film, became the third member of The Dark Knight Rises cast and crew to express her condolences after arriving home in the United States from Paris, where Warner Bros quickly cancelled a premiere on Friday night.

"My heart aches and breaks for the lives taken and altered by this unfathomable senseless act," she said.

"I am at a loss for words how to express my sorrow. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families."

Top three highest-ever openings

1. The Avengers with $207.4 million (£133m)

2. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows - Part 2 with $169.2 million (£108m)

3. The Dark Knight Rises $160 million (£102m)*

* Projected figures