It says much for the expectations placed upon The Dark Knight Rises that the third in the Christopher Nolan directed trilogy has actually warranted a surprised reaction among critics at how long it's taken to reach the fabled $1 billion box office mark. It finally has, though, after a little more than a month, with the figure taking into account global sales from its first date of release, and though the achievement might be doused in a sense of inevitability, it's a momentous achievement nonetheless. Indeed, only 12 other films in history have managed to cross the landmark.

The Dark Knight Rises joins its predecessor The Dark Knight in topping the billion mark, with that film just creeping over the line with $1.003 billion according to Business insider. Two films from the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise are also among the 13, with On Stranger Tides taking $1.04 billion and Dead Man's Chest raking in $1.07 billion.

Gallingly for The Dark Knight Rises it isn't even the top grossing film this year though, with The Avengers currently sitting on $1.5 billion, the third highest of all time behind runaway top two Titanic on $2.18 billion and Avatar on $2.78 billion - the former's figure being bolstered by a recent re-release on 3D screens.