The Dark Knight 's reign as the box-office leader ended propitiously over the weekend as it raked in an additional $16.8 million to become the second-highest grossing film of all time domestically. It has now taken in $471.5 million. Over the past 30 years, the previous No. 2, the original Star Wars, had taken in $461 million. The all-time champ is 1997's Titanic with $601 million. Although it opened with a much smaller gross than Knight, Titanic continued to average around $35 million weekly through its first three months of release. Opening on December 21, 1997, it did not dip below $20 million until the first weekend of April. By that time it had already taken in $515 million. Knight was taken down by the comedy Tropic Thunder which made a modest debut with $26 million. (On a per-theater basis, it was also beaten by the Woody Allen movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona, which averaged $5,361 at 692 theaters, while Knight averaged $4,677 at 3,590 theaters.) The animated Star Wars The Clone Wars debuted with $15.5 million, while the horror film Mirrors opened with $11.1 million. In its second weekend Pineapple Express dropped a whopping 57 percent to place fifth with $10 million. Overall, the box-office total was nearly identical to the comparable weekend a year ago, suggesting that the Olympic Games telecasts had little impact on ticket sales. (Then again, all of the top films advertised heavily on the telecasts).

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Media by Numbers 1. Tropic Thunder, $26 million; 2. The Dark Knight, $16.8 million; 3. Star Wars The Clone War s, $15.5 million; 4. Mirrors , $11.1 million; 5. Pineapple Express, $10 million; 6. The Mummy Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, $8.6 million; 7. Mamma Mia!, $6.5 million; 8. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, $5.9 million; 9. Step Brothers, $5 million; 10. V icky Cristina Barcelona, $3.7 million.

18/08/2008