‘Dark Knight’ No. 1 Film Again With $35.7 Million in Sales

“The Dark Knight Rises,” the last film in Warner Bros.’ Batman trilogy, led the U.S. and Canadian box office for a third weekend, collecting $35.7 million as news coverage of the shooting at a Colorado theater abated.

“Total Recall,” Sony Corp.’s remake of the 1990 sci-fi adventure, with Colin Farrell replacing Arnold Schwarzenegger in the title role, took in $25.6 million to place second in its debut, Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e-mailed statement. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days,” from News Corp., opened in third place with $14.6 million.

Sales for “The Dark Knight Rises” brought the film’s domestic total to $353.9 million, Hollywood.com said. Its 2008 predecessor had revenue of almost $400 million after three weeks. The latest Batman film from the Time Warner Inc. studio missed forecasts on its first weekend after 12 people were killed and 58 hurt when a gunman opened fire at a midnight showing of the movie in Aurora, Colorado.

“It’s had a great run and I suspect it will play well for the rest of the summer, but it will have a challenge next week with ‘The Bourne Legacy,’” said Paul Sweeney, an analyst at Bloomberg Industries. “The Bourne Legacy” is “an action movie geared toward younger audiences. It’s a little bit more male oriented so it should challenge Dark Knight next week.”

Hobbled Batman

Boxoffice.com, an industry website, had predicted weekend sales of $37.5 million for “The Dark Knight Rises.” Box Office Guru, another industry watcher, was forecasting ticket revenue of $31 million.

The film marks the third and final pairing of actor Christian Bale, playing Batman, with director Christopher Nolan, who combined to create the hit franchise for Time Warner.

In the movie, set eight years after “The Dark Knight,” the second in the series, 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 as Catwoman and Tom Hardy as Bane. Morgan Freeman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt co-star.

Factory Worker

“Total Recall” features Farrell as a factory worker, Douglas Quaid, who starts to think he is a spy after something goes wrong when he visits a company that gives clients fake memories of a life they would like to lead.

Kate Beckinsale plays his wife, Lori Quaid, replacing Sharon Stone from the original.

Rottentomatoes.com, a website that aggregates commentary from critics, gave the film a 31 percent favorable rating, based on 101 reviews. The site said the film lacked the wry humor of the original. Boxoffice.com predicted weekend sales of $23 million.

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days,” marks the third picture in a series of Twentieth Century Fox films based on the best-selling illustrated novels by Jeff Kinney featuring the title character as he navigates middle school.

‘Wimpy Kid’

In the latest installment, “Wimpy Kid” Greg Heffley, played by Zachary Gordon, looking forward to enjoying a leisurely summer, hatches a plan to pretend he has a job at a country club. Along the way he experiences embarrassing mishaps at a public pool and a camping trip that goes wrong. Box Office Guru projected sales of $17 million.

“‘Wimpy Kid’ is not a big blockbuster movie, but it will play well for the rest of the summer with a younger audience,” Sweeney said.

‘The Watch’

Among returning films, “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” the fourth picture in the animated series from Twentieth Century Fox, came in fourth in its fourth weekend with $8.6 million in sales.

“The Watch,” a R-rated sci-fi comedy also from Twentieth Century Fox, came in fifth in its second week with $6.5 million, 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.

Weekend revenue for the top 12 films fell 28 percent to $113.8 million from a year earlier, Hollywood.com said. Domestic film sales this year have risen 4.2 percent to $6.8 billion, with attendance up 3 percent. The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales for Aug. 3 through yesterday.

                       Rev.            Avg./   Pct.   Total
Movie                 (mln)  Theaters  Theater Chg.   (mln)  Wks
 1 DARK KNIGHT       $35.7    4,242   $8,425   -42   $353.9   3
 2 TOTAL RECALL       25.6    3,601    7,103    --     25.6   1
 3 WIMPY KID: DOG D   14.6    3,391    4,312    --     14.6   1
 4 ICE AGE             8.6    3,542    2,431   -36    132.1   4
 5 THE WATCH           6.5    3,168    2,061   -49     25.5   2
 6 STEP UP: REVOLUTION 5.9    2,606    2,275   -49     23.7   2
 7 TED                 5.6    2,767    2,040   -23    203.6   6
 8 AMAZING SPIDER MAN  4.4    2,425    1,815   -34    250.7   5
 9 BRAVE               3.0    2,110    1,415   -31    223.4   7
10 MAGIC MIKE          1.4    1,202    1,177   -46    110.9   6
11 MOONRISE KINGDOM    1.2      687    1,805   -14     40.8  11
12 SOUTHERN WILD       1.2      318    3,631    25      5.9   6

Top 12 Films Grosses

This Week Year Ago Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $113.8 $158.0 -28

Year-to-date Revenue

2012 2011 YTD YTD Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $6,804 $6,529 +4.2 Year-to-date Attendance: +3.0%
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