‘Dark Knight’ Leads Weekend Sales Again With $62.1 Million

“The Dark Knight Rises,” the last film in Warner Bros.’ trilogy with Christian Bale as Batman, led the U.S. box office again with sales of $62.1 million a week after 12 people died in a shooting at a Colorado cinema.

The tally brought total domestic sales for “The Dark Knight Rises” to $287.1 million, researcher Hollywood.com said today in a statement. Forecasts of U.S. and Canadian ticket sales for the film ranged from $64 million at Box Office Guru to the low-to-mid $70 million range at Hollywood.com.

Analysts were looking for signs that fans may be reluctant to go to the movies after the July 20 shooting at a Cinemark theater in Aurora, Colorado, during a screening the Batman movie. Twelve people died and 58 were wounded. Opening weekend sales of “The Dark Knight Rises,” at $160.9 million, fell short of forecasts that preceded the tragedy. The sales still ranked among the highest ever for a weekend opening.

The film “took a fairly big hit with the first weekend of Olympic coverage taking a bite out of the box office,” Paul Dergarabedian, president of Hollywood.com Box-Office, wrote in a report. “This was a very slow weekend.”

Weekend revenue for the top 12 films fell 26 percent to $126.5 million from the year-earlier period, Hollywood.com said.

“The Dark Knight Rises” marks the third and final pairing of Bale with director Christopher Nolan, who combined to create a hit franchise for studio parent Time Warner Inc. from the company’s DC Comics library.

Financial Ruin

The first two films, “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight,” collected $1.37 billion globally. Batman will return in some form, according to the studio. The challenge will be rebooting the franchise without alienating hardcore fans.

In the latest Batman film, set eight years after “The Dark Knight,” an aging Bruce Wayne walks with a cane because of his many injuries and is facing financial ruin. He emerges from retirement to fight Bane, a physically and intellectually powerful villain who isolates Gotham City and orchestrates class warfare between the haves and have-nots.

Anne Hathaway stars at Catwoman and Tom Hardy as Bane. Morgan Freeman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt co-star.

“Ice Age: Continental Drift,” the fourth film in the animated series from News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox, came in second in its third weekend with $13.4 million in sales.

The latest installment follows Manny, Sid, Diego and Scrat on an adventure after their continent is set adrift, caused by Scrat’s pursuit of the acorn he’s been after for each of the previous three films. Ray Romano and Denis Leary star. John Leguizamo and Queen Latifah co-star.

‘The Watch’

“The Watch,” a R-rated sci-fi comedy from Twentieth Century Fox, came in third in its debut with $12.8 million in sales, Hollywood.com said.

The film follows four suburban dads who form a neighborhood watch group to escape their boring lives and find themselves defending Earth from aliens.

Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill star in the feature. Seth Rogen, star of the comedies “Superbad” and “Knocked Up,” co-wrote the movie. The picture was made for about $68 million, according to Box Office Mojo, another film researcher.

Finishing fourth was “Step Up: Revolution,” from Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.’s Summit division. It had weekend sales of $11.7 million.

‘Step Up’

The dance movie filmed in 3-D is the fourth installment in the “Step Up” film series. Channing Tatum, who stars in the male stripper flick “Magic Mike” this summer, led the cast in the original film that was released in 2006.

This installment follows a young dancer, Emily, who moves to Miami to become a professional dancer. Played by Kathryn McCormick, Emily falls in love with Sean, the leader of a dance crew, whose neighborhood is threatened by Emily’s father’s development plans. Ryan Guzman plays Sean.

“Ted,” the R-rated comedy from Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures, came in fifth with sales of $7.4 million. It’s had sales of $193.6 million in five weeks of release.

Domestic film sales this year have risen 5.5 percent to $6.61 billion, with attendance up 7.9 percent. The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales for July 27 to July 29.

                       Rev.            Avg./   Pct.   Total
Movie                 (mln)  Theaters  Theater Chg.   (mln)  Wks
 1 DARK KNIGHT RISES  $62.1   4,404   $14,101    -61   $287.1  2
 2 ICE AGE             13.4   3,869     3,451    -35    114.9  3
 3 THE WATCH           12.8   3,168     4,025     --     12.8  1
 4 STEP UP: REVOLUTION 11.7   2,567     4,570     --     11.7  1
 5 TED                  7.4   3,129     2,350    -27    193.6  5
 6 AMAZING SPIDER MAN   6.7   3,160     2,121    -38    242.0  4
 7 BRAVE (3-D/ANIMATED) 4.3   2,551     1,688    -29    217.3  6
 8 MAGIC MIKE           2.6   2,075     1,262    -39    107.6  5
 9 SAVAGES              1.8   1,414     1,300    -46     44.0  4
10 MOONRISE KINGDOM     1.4     853     1,682    -22     38.6 10
11 TYLER PERRY’S MADEA  1.3   1,111     1,178    -42     62.7  5
12 TO ROME WITH LOVE    1.0     492     2,033    -30     12.9  6

Top 12 Films Grosses

This Week Year Ago Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $126.5 $170.8 -26

Year-to-date Revenue

2012 2011 YTD YTD Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $6,607 $6,265 +5.5 Year-to-date Attendance: +7.9%
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