Box Office Report: "The Dark Knight Rises" Leads Third Straight Weekend

We thought it might be a battle between "Total Recall" and "The Dark Knight Rises" for the top spot this week, and while these two did take the top two spots, "The Dark Knight Rises" really made no competition of it, bettering its percentages from its second weekend to the third. If you can qualify it as such, after a seemingly sluggish first week (after its opening weekend), the film has really rebounded and started putting together strong totals.

"Total Recall" didn't completely falter, still coming up on the low end of most projections, at least keeping in the ballpark. And between this film and "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days", both new releases did nearly what was expected of them, even if it wasn't much.

Hit the jump for the full numbers; by the way, a handful of film reached milestones this weekend, so I'll highlight the accomplishments of each as well.

We'll start with "The Dark Knight Rises" since it took the top spot. As I said above, it felt like it was starting to fall of, but throughout the week and into this weekend it really has felt like it's come back on (a lot of that can probably be attributed to the otherwise weak options). But nonetheless, it resulted in a $36.4MM take this weekend. More impressively, it bumped its percentage drops from 61% last weekend up to only 41% this weekend; anytime you can clear a 20-point change one week later is pretty impressive.

The film surpassed a couple of milestones this weekend, not only clearing 350MM domestically, but combined with its $248MM internationally, it just crossed the $600MM mark worldwide. $600MM is obviously a strong number that no one is going to complain about, but it still has quite a ways to go if it wants to be mentioned at the top of any of the all-time lists - it's still #70 on the Worldwide List, behind other 2012 films, including "MIB3", "Ice Age: Continental Drift", and "The Amazing Spider-Man", among others. Domestically its doing a bit better, sitting at #21 currently, and should be able to easily climb into the Top 15 before we even start wondering how high it can get.

As for this weekend, "The Dark Knight Rises" became the third-fastest film to ever hit the $350MM mark, just three days slower than "The Dark Knight" (and seven behind "The Avengers"). It also provided the sixth-highest gross for a third weekend as well, notching that $36.4MM. It lands right behind 2004's "Shrek 2", and a little more than $30MM behind the leader of the category, "Avatar".

On to the second spot this weekend, where "Total Recall" did manage to land, much as expected (unlike last weekend's "The Watch"). The film made an estimated $26MM this weekend, a bit off of the pace it had hoped for. I saw the film this weekend (my review here), and it looks like critics have generally agreed with my thoughts as well. The film debuted to a 31% on Rotten Tomatoes, and probably won't ever rebound; the film was quite bad.

Overall, quite lackluster numbers, and just as I thought after I watched it, this will hang around in theaters for a few weeks until everyone completely forgets it ever existed. The film had a $125MM budget, and I can't really envision any scenarios where it makes that back in theaters - if it ever even comes close it will be a miracle. It made just over $6MM internationally in its first week, which wasn't anything monumental, but every dollar will help for this film. There are a couple of strong action films releasing over the next two weeks, so that should hurt this film's totals even more.

On to third place this weekend, where the other newcomer, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days", ended up. It pulled in $14.7MM this weekend, pretty much as expected. As I outlined in the New In Theaters post on Thursday, this is a bit of a dip from the franchise, but it's also the first of the three to release in the heart of summer, so the drop seemed expected. Ultimately it should end up with totals similar to the earlier films. Its rating on Rotten Tomatoes currently sits at a very average 49%, which puts it within a couple of points of both previous films, and right in the middle.

I can't imagine that this film will ever do anything too notable in theaters, but that's never been this franchise's style. They're quite happy to grind it out and appeal to their dedicated audience. And with only a $22MM budget, it's not much of a worry. The film will clear that and probably end up in the $50MM range; nothing exciting, but money-making nonetheless.

We'll lump the fourth and fifth spots together, as neither was very impressive. In fourth it was "Ice Age: Continental Drift", in its fourth weekend, with an $8.4MM gross. The film continues to flutter out domestically, but just as the previous installments did, it's been dominant overseas. With this weekend's totals, it's surpassed the $530MM mark internationally, and kicked its worldwide gross up to just over $660MM. Domestically it still sits at the bottom of the totem pole amongst the other films from the series - and probably always will - but worldwide, it has jumped into the second spot, behind only the third film, "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs". Very impressive overall numbers for what has proved to be a very sub-par animated feature.

"The Watch" hung on in its second weekend to take the fifth spot with $6.3MM. I went and saw this a week ago as well, and again, the film was not good. Unlike the previously discussed film, "The Watch" does not have the luxury of massive international grosses to bail this one out. Over ten days, the film has now just crossed the $25MM mark domestically, and still hasn't made a cent overseas (and probably never will). And as was discussed last week, the $68MM budget for the film makes everything just a bit worse. From here it will be lucky to hang around in the top ten for more than one more weekend, and probably won't make much more than $35MM in theaters.

We'll jump to some of the noteworthy totals that films surpassed this weekend, and try to wrap this all up. We already mentioned the $350MM and $600MM marks that "The Dark Knight Rises" surpassed, as well as the "$650MM mark that "Ice Age: Continental Drift" reached. Otherwise, "Ted" toppled the $200MM mark this weekend, still the fourth highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all-time. "The Amazing Spider-Man" crossed the $250MM mark domestically with its tally this weekend, which has also helped to to surpass its budget of $230MM (if you're completely excluding the $425MM it's done internationally).

That's about all I really see this weekend though; check out the full numbers below, courtesy of Box Office Mojo: