The Dark Knight surprised no one by performing impressively at the box office. We all knew it would win the weekend. It had everything working toward that end: a talented star who died too soon in his final full performance; film number two in a hot franchise; and the adulation of pretty much every critic out there. There was no way this movie was going to open at anything but number one at the box office.
Well, the results were resounding -- the film managed to shatter midnight opening records and opening weekend records (besting Spider-Man 3 on both counts), taking in $158.3 million on 4,366 screens. Who wants to take bets on whether it finally takes Titanic out of the number one all-time box office spot?
Coming in at a very distant (more than $130 million distant) second, then, was Mamma Mia!, which took in a respectable $27.6 million on 2,976 screens. Seriously, try not to compare its take to The Dark Knight's or it's embarrassing for Meryl & Co. It really shouldn't be. In fact, it was the highest debut for a musical ever. Not too shabby. This is a perfectly decent opening weekend. Strong performances across the board made this weekend the biggest non-holiday, Friday-Saturday Sunday opening weekend of all time, with $253 million, beating out the weekend in 2006 when Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest opened.
In third place, Hancock took in another $14 million for $191.5 million after its third weekend; Journey to the Center of the Earth was fourth with another $11.9 million in its second weekend for $43.1 million; and Hellboy II: The Golden Army took in another $10 million for a total of $56.4 after its second weekend, only $3 million less than its predecessor's total take.
Rounding out the top 10: