Something to take our minds off the economy’s downward spiral – consumers are not forgoing their favorite movies and the entertainment industry is alive and kicking. In fact, box-office records are falling like nine-pins.
The new Batman movie “The Dark Knight,” smashed the weekend record held by “Spider-Man 3″, achieving $155.3 million worth of ticket sales across the United States and Canada. The Dark Knight also generated $40 million from 20 foreign markets.
Pundits had estimated only a $100 million opening, an underestimation of the infectious Batman fever among global movie fans. The depressing economic mood could also be a factor in the low figures.
Tickets were booked long ago, and many had to wait hours in long lines to enter the theaters to catch the first screening just after midnight on Friday. To meet the red-hot demand, some theaters added 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. screenings
Together with another popular release, “Mamma Mia!,” North American ticket sales propelled to a record $253 million, according to box office tracker, Media By Numbers. The old mark of $218 million was set two years ago.
“We’ve really never seen anything like this,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Media By Numbers. “The death of a fine actor taken in his prime, a legendary performance, and a movie that lives up to all the hype. That all combined to create these record-breaking numbers.”
“The Dark Knight” is directed by Christopher Nolan and features Christian Bale as Batman. Co-star Heath Ledger actually eclipsed Bale with an effervescent performance as the anarchic Joker. The previous movie, “Batman Begins” earned $48.7 million during its first weekend in 2005, and finished up with $205 million. According to Warner Bros, “Dark Knight” should hit that level by midweek.
If you are being driven up the wall by the bear, this entertaining two and a half-hour movie should give you a breather from all the vexing troubles.