Nothing could touch Chris Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises" at the box office this weekend. Grosses for the top wide releases came in at about below 27% of the same weekend last year, mostly due the ongoing impact of the Olympics. "The Rise of the Planet of the Apes" debuted that weekend, with a weekend gross of $55 million, more than double that of this weekend’s top new film "Total Recall."
1. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (Warner Brothers) - Week 3 (last weekend - #1)
$36,440,000 in 4,242 theaters (-162); PSA (per screen average): $8,590,000; Change from last weekend: -41%; Cumulative: $354,638,000
The good news for Nolan's latest is that it should remain #1 for a third straight weekend, and that the drop from the second frame will be less than "The Dark Knight" on its third weekend in 2008 (-43%). And beating the top new opening by more than $10 million further attests to dominance in a still Olympic-affected market.
"The Dark Knight" was also #1 for its third weekend - coming in at $42,000,000 - beating a strong challenge from "The Mummy: Tomb of the Emperor," which actually was the top-grosser on its opening day heading toward a $40 million three-day total and a strong #2.
Prospects: As has been clear from the start, "The Dark Knight Rises" will not equal the last film's eventual total ($533 million US/Canada in 2008, which would be even higher at today's ticket prices). But it is headed for more than $400 million, and much more in the rest of the world. That it won't surpass "The Dark Knight" doesn't mean that this still isn't a major success.
That said, it is unlikely to have a fourth weekend at #1 (unlike “The Dark Knight”), with “The Bourne Legacy” on tap for next Friday.
2. TOTAL RECALL (Sony) - NEW (Metacritic score: 44)
$26,000,000 in 3,601 theaters; PSA: $7,220,000; Cumulative: $26,000,000
The third Sony high-budget sequels/remake this summer, "Total Recall" so far is grossing within the studio's own muted expectations, but is not carrying its weight domestically considering a reported $125-million budget. The original Paul Verhoeven/Arnold Schwarzenegger 1990 hit, which at $65 million was of the costliest films of its year, opened to about $25 million, which is equal to just under $50 million at 2012 ticket prices. It went on to gross $119 million in the US/Canada, then another $141 million worldwide.
The 1990 film had several advantages the remake didn't: a global action star who was a huge draw, working in a genre that was evolving into the high-end, high-concept special-effects driven area that is now commonplace. Plus, it wasn't a remake of a highly regarded original. And it didn't have to open against the Olympics, which clearly is continuing to depress grosses this weekend.