Despite much debate on Saturday afternoon over whether the massacre in Aurora, Colo. on July 20 would negatively affect ticket sales for the rest of the summer, "The Dark Knight Rises" easily topped a pair of newcomers at the box office. Thanks to a massive Saturday night bounce (up 42 percent from Friday, according to Deadline.com), Christopher Nolan's Batman finale earned an estimated $64.1 million over the three-day frame.
That gives "The Dark Knight Rises" roughly $289.1 million in North American grosses -- and over $500 million worldwide -- after just 10 days of release. (As the Los Angeles Times notes, Warner Bros. did not officially report "Dark Knight Rises" earnings for a second straight week out of respect for the victims in Aurora.)
While that still counts as a significant gross under normal circumstances, "The Dark Knight Rises" is running roughly $25 million behind "The Dark Knight," which came out in 2008. That could have to do with the Aurora massacre -- nearly 20 percent of potential moviegoers were reportedly still spooked by the tragedy and planning to stay home, according to research released last week -- but also the London Olympics. ("The Dark Knight" didn't have to contend with the Beijing games in 2008, as they started in August.)
As for the new releases, "The Watch" and "Step Up Revolution" both stumbled in their debuts. Whether audiences stayed away from "The Watch" because of residual fears, Olympic fanfare or simple disinterest is unclear, but the Ben Stiller comedy flopped during its opening weekend. Despite Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill leading the way, "The Watch" earned just $13.5 million. That's only about $500,000 more than "That's My Boy" earned during its disappointing opening. (Both films are R-rated.)
"Step Up Revolution" fared even worse, with just $11.8 million in ticket sales.
For the full box office report, head over to THR.com.
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