BOX OFFICE NEWS: The Dark Knight and Audiences Gets The Joke!

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You’ve been reading about it all day, now comes the official press release from Warner on The Dark Knight’s amazing box office performance to the tune of 158 million smackers. There’s some chest beating going on in Burbank this week and I’m sure quite a few bonus checks and cars going around in the next few weeks. Usually I don’t care if a film does boffo box office numbers, but in this case since we did the promo for it I like to take a little credit. Not to mention it’s a kick ass movie. Not like when Pirates 2 was smashing records and screaming at anyone who would listen that "It’s not a good movie! What’s wrong with you people."  This time you guys are all right. Here’s the official fist pounding. Or as Faux News calls it Terrorist Fist Bumping. But with Hollywood’s creative accounting, I’m sure somehow WB lost their shirt on this and Christopher Nolan owes them.

URBANK, CA, July 21, 2008 – Making motion picture history in its opening weekend, Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ “The Dark Knight” rewrote the box office record books, beginning with its first showings and culminating with a record-shattering weekend gross of $158,411,483.  The announcement was made today by Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

Fueled by rave reviews and strong word of mouth, “The Dark Knight” toppled multiple records in its opening frame.  The weekend box office total broke the previous overall industry opening weekend record by more than $7 million.  Earlier in the weekend, “The Dark Knight” had broken records with its first 12:01 a.m. showings, totaling $18.5 million; its opening day total of $67,165,092; and its record-breaking Sunday gross of $43,596,151.  “The Dark Knight” also enjoyed a record-breaking North American opening in IMAX theatres, earning $6.3 million in 94 locations, for a per-screen average of $67,000.

In making the announcement, Fellman said, “We knew ‘The Dark Knight’ was something remarkable and it is incredibly gratifying that critics and audiences wholeheartedly agree.  Regardless of the anticipation leading up to this weekend, the fact remains that this level of success could not have been achieved if the film did not deliver.  It does, on every front and with all audiences, which is a tribute to the amazing work of the filmmakers and the entire cast. We congratulate them on the start of what promises to be a great run.”

On the international front, “The Dark Knight” launched in 20 countries, including Australia, Mexico and Brazil, grossing an outstanding $41.3 million, almost tripling the opening of “Batman Begins” in the same markets.  Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, President of International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, said, “We are delighted with this spectacular start and look forward to a long and successful run.”  The film will continue to roll out internationally over the coming weeks, including the bigger territories of Italy on July 23, Holland on July 24, the UK on July 25, Korea on August 7, Japan on August 9, Spain and France on August 13, and Germany on August 21.

Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Legendary Pictures, a Syncopy Production, a Christopher Nolan film, “The Dark Knight,” starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Morgan Freeman. Nolan directed the film from a screenplay written by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer.  Charles Roven, Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan are the producers, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Kevin De La Noy and Thomas Tull serving as executive producers.  “The Dark Knight,” is based upon characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics.  Batman was created by Bob Kane.  “The Dark Knight” is distributed worldwide in theatres and IMAX by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.  The film has been rated PG-13 for “intense sequences of violence and some menace.”