"The Dark Knight" was number one once again at the box office this week, pulling in $26 million. The film is now at number three n the domestic blockbuster list of all time. Ahead of "The Dark Knight" are the original "Star Wars" at $461 million and "Titanic" at $600.8 million. The film is expected to surpass "Star Wars" by this coming weekend and eventually top out at $510 million to $520 million.
"It has taken on a life of its own, and in doing so got so much positive press and word of mouth that older audiences who normally don't rush out to see movies or maybe only see two, three movies a year are coming out in large numbers," said Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros. "It's a question of `We've been reading about this for three, four weeks now. Let's go see what it's all about."'
While the numbers show that "Dark Knight" is number three for earnings, one must take into account the rate of inflation, and the number of tickets sold. "The Dark Knight" will most likely not come even close to selling the amount of tickets that "Titanic" or the original "Star Wars" sold. The film would have to sell $1.2 billion to equal "Star Wars" and $900 million to equal to "Titanic".
Topping the box office for four consecutive weeks was last done by "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" in late 2003. Given the summer release of this film, many are shocked at the dominance it is showing at the box office. "It's almost unheard of. Summer doesn't usually afford films that much of a wide-open playing field," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Media By Numbers.