Warner Bros.confirmed Monday that “The Dark Knight Rises” grossed $160.9 million in the United States and Canada from Friday through Sunday and an additional $88 million overseas in the first 17 countries where it debuted.
For the first time in many years, most major studios did not release box-office estimates Sunday out of concern about appearing insensitive to the news that 12 people had been killed and 58 wounded early Friday at a post-midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” outside Denver.
The $160.9-million take marks the third-highest domestic opening of all time, not accounting for inflation. But the domestic sum is only slightly higher than the $158-million opening of its Batman predecessor, 2008's “The Dark Knight,” despite four years of rising ticket prices. That means fewer fans turned out to see the new film on its first weekend.
People who saw pre-release research had predicted the film would open with between $180 million and $200 million. It's impossible to know whether the shooting in the Colorado movie theater played a role in “The Dark Knight Rises” falling short of those expectations, but the film still had a strong debut that will probably make it very profitable for Warner Bros. and its partner, Legendary Pictures.
Overall, ticket sales were up roughly 21% this weekend compared with the same three-day period in 2011, when the No. 1 movie, “Captain America,” debuted with $65.1 million, according to Hollywood.com.
-- Amy Kaufman and Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times