Box Office Hit and Critics’ Fav Dark Knight Tops $310 Million

Batman and ‘Mamma Mia!’ continue strong, ‘The X-Files’ abducted by aliens

By Robin Rowe

HOLLYWOOD, CA (RUSHPRNEWS) 7/27/08 – Going into the weekend with $239 million, Warner Bros. ‘The Dark Knight’ is expected to continue to run strong, making another $71 million. Last week Batman came in with a $158 million weekend, only slightly less than my $165 million prediction. Warner Bros. execs, alarmed by predictions of $130 million+, had tried to warn off box office prognosticators. Execs had to reverse themselves when the Friday numbers came in proving an unprecedented victory for Warner Bros.

Fox sequel ‘The X-Files: I Want to Believe’, delayed by a courtroom battle over television royalties to the producer, is opening with a sputter to sparsely sold theaters. Diehard fans still love the show, but younger theater-goers have no recollection of the television series. Expect $16 million.

Universal’s ABBA wailer ‘Mamma Mia!’ has been in second place to ‘The Dark Knight’ all week. Expect it to hold on to second with $17 million. Sony ‘Hancock’, Newline ‘Journey 3D’, Pixar ‘Wall-E’ and even kiddie toon Fox ‘Space Chimps’ are running strong at the box office, proving that family fare has legs. And Universal shoot-em-up ‘Wanted’, despite an R-rating, has amassed a remarkable $126 million. Angelina Jolie has still got it.
Picturehouse ‘Kit Kittredge: An American Girl’ falls off the charts with a disappointing $15 million take. Produced by Julia Roberts and starring Abigail Breslin, it could have done better. The Kittredge books have a huge fanbase with girls. The beleaguered Warner Bros. Picturehouse shingle just can’t seem to distribute a film. ‘Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Show’ is another movie Picturehouse released with disappointing results. Picturehouse’s biggest film was ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ with $37 million. Picturehouse had its staff laid off and is now operated by Warner Bros.

Another studio indie label in trouble, Paramount Vantage had staff cuts this week. What’s left of its marketing team was folding back into big Paramount. Vantage’s ‘American Teen’ opens in just five theaters. ‘Son of Rambow’ expanded by 38 theaters to 64. Film festival retread ‘The Foot Fist Way’ added one theater to a total of six. Paramount Vantage’s biggest film was ‘There Will Be Blood’ with $40 million.

Opening July 25 Theater Counts

The X-Files: I Want to Believe (Fox) 3,185
Step Brothers (Sony Columbia) 3,094
Brideshead Revisited (Miramax) 33
CSNY: Deja Vu (Roadside Attractions) 24
American Teen (Paramount Vantage) 5
Boy A (Weinstein Company) 2
Man on Wire (Magnolia) 2

Continuing July 25 Theater Counts

The Dark Knight (Warner Bros.) 4,366 2
Hancock (Sony Columbia) 3,309 (-467) 4
Wall-E (Buena Vista) 3,044 (-266) 5
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Universal) 3,014 (-198) 3
Mamma Mia! (Universal) 2,989 (+13) 2
Journey to the Center of the Earth (New Line) 2,688 (-142) 3
Space Chimps (Fox) 2,538 (+27) 2
Wanted (Universal) 1,758 (-675) 5
Get Smart (Warner Bros.) 1,420 (-715) 6
Kung Fu Panda (Paramount (DreamWorks)) 917 (-588) 8
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (Picturehouse) 535 (-234) 6

The big opener for next weekend is Universal ‘The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor’.

Data Source: Box Office Mojo

NEWS SOURCE: Hollywood Today