The Dark Knight has retained its top spot at the US box office for a remarkable third week in a row, consigning the new Mummy film, Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, to second spot on the latter’s debut.
Christopher Nolan’s Batman sequel pulled in another $43.8m (£22.2m) against the latter’s $42.5m (£21.5m), and now stands at No 8 in the all-time box office chart for highest grossing US films, with a Bat-tastic $395m (£200m). To put that in perspective, Sam Raimi’s hugely successful Spider-Man film, stands just above it at No 7 with £403m (£204m), a haul amassed over 15 weeks on general release; The Dark Knight was only released 17 days ago.
Analysts are now wondering if The Dark Knight can overtake the all-time champ, Titanic, which took $600m in the US. Much of that will depend on fans returning to see the film for a second and third time, which could keep the film in cinemas until November or longer.
The news is disappointing for the makers of The Mummy, as they would have considered themselves in with a good shout of downing The Dark Knight. Studio bosses had hoped for a much bigger opening, and the series which has now spawned three films (and a dubious spin-off) may have reached the end of its run.
The top five was rounded out by the previously released comedy Step Brothers at third place with $16m in its second week, the Abba musical Mamma Mia! was fourth with $13m in its third week, and the adventure tale Journey to the Center of the Earth, which, like the Mummy film, also stars Brendan Fraser, in fifth, with $6.8m in its fourth week.
Elsewhere on the chart, the only other new entry was the comedy Swing Vote, the tale of a presidential election which comes down to one man’s vote. It stars Kevin Costner, Dennis Hopper and Kelsey Grammer, and took $6.3m for sixth place.
However, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor did manage to beat The Dark Knight to the top spot outside the US, after opening at No 1 in 26 of its 28 markets over the weekend. It took an estimated $59m against The Dark Knight’s $37m in 51 countries.