‘The Dark Knight Rises’ stays atop box office with $64 mln

In this file film image provided by Warner Bros., Bale portrays Bruce Wayne and Batman in a scene from “The Dark Knight Rises.” (PHOTO AP)

July 30, 2012, Monday/ 17:50:00

“The Dark Knight Rises” stayed atop the box office for the second straight weekend, making just over $64 million. But it’s lagging behind the staggering numbers of its predecessor, 2008’s “The Dark Knight.”

The final piece in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy has now grossed more than $289 million in its first 10 days in theaters. It dropped 60 pct from its opening weekend of $160.9 million.

By comparison, “The Dark Knight” took a 53 percent drop in its second weekend with a gross of nearly $75.2 million and a 10-day cumulative gross of $313.8 million. Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros., declined to comment on the Sunday estimates again out of respect for the victims of the Aurora, Colorado, shooting that left 12 people dead and another 58 injured at a midnight showing of the film on opening night.

But people are still going to the movies, and they did so even last weekend, said Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian. If anything hurt the numbers for all movies this weekend, he said, it was Friday night’s opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, which drew a record-setting 40.7 million viewers in the United States. “For a film that opened as big as this did, considering the situation and what happened last weekend and all that, I would say this is a very strong showing,” Dergarabedian said. “It’s made almost $300 million in North America and its mid-week (attendance) is very strong. It made $19 million last Monday.”

In second place this weekend was the animated family film “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” which is still going strong in its third week. It made $13.3 million for a domestic total of nearly $114.9 million. The fourth movie in the 20th Century Fox franchise features the voices of Ray Romano, Denis Leary and Queen Latifah. Both of the new movies in wide release opened weakly. The 20th Century Fox comedy “The Watch” came in third place with $13 million. Big-name comic actors Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill play a group of guys who come together to form a neighborhood watch; despite the star power, the film was panned critically, receiving only 14 percent positive reviews on the Rotten Tomatoes website.

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