In the weekend competition between Olympics telecasts and the movies there was no contest, as the NBC coverage continued to rack up record ratings while the box office sank 25 percent below last year. The top film -- for the third week in a row -- was Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises with an estimated $36.4 million. An expected tight race between it and the debuting Total Recall failed to materialize as the remake settled for about $26 million. unless Recall finds a more receptive audience overseas, the Sony film, which reportedly cost $125 million to make, will likely turn out to be another losing proposition for Sony, a company that has seen more than its fair share of recent losses. For many, it must have seemed curious that Warner Bros, which produced Rises , and Sony, which produced Recall , would have chosen to release their two male-skewed action films while the Olympics were in progress. Only a couple of months ago, they gave the European soccer championships, Euro 2012, a wide berth, even releasing some films long before their USA release so as not to compete against the wildly popular sports competition. But the Olympics seems hardly to have figured in the Warner and Sony release plans at all. Fox now appears astute in its decision to counter-program the Olympics with the kids-friendly Diary of a Wimpy Kid Dog Days . While it wound up below the opening of its two predecessors, those two films opened in March, with little competition. With a summertime theme for the new one, Fox decided to release it in August and expects solid returns in the coming weeks, especially given the fact that audiences gave the film an A- score, according to surveys conducted by CinemaScore. Besides, it only cost around $25 million to make. Ice Age 4 also continued to perform reasonably well for Fox, taking in an additional $8.4 million in its fourth week, to finish in fourth place. Rounding out the top five was the second week of Fox's The Watch , which wound up in the neighborhood of $6.3 million. It should also be noted that Universal's Ted took in an additional $5.5 million to put it across the $200 million mark domestically.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo 1. The Dark Knight Rises, $36.4 million; 2. Total Recall, $26 million; 3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid Dog Days, $14.7 million; 4. Ice Age Continental Drift, $8.4 million; 5. The Watch, $6.35 million; 6. Ted, $5.5 million; 7. Step Up Revolution, $5.7 million; 8. The Amazing SPIDER-MAN, $4.3 million; 9. Brave, $2.9 million; 10. Magic Mike, $1.4 million.