Updated 7/28 at 10:25am EST - The full weekend North America box office estimates are now in and The Dark Knight scored $75.6 million (according to boxofficeguru.com), which sets a new all-time record for highest-grossing second weekend (meaning a film's second weekend in release) ever, besting Shrek 2's $72.1m in 2004.
Dark Knight's total now stands at $314.2m after only ten days of release, besting the previous record holder Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest's $258.4m by some $56 million dollars.
Original report published Saturday, July 26th -Caped Crusader..? Call him the "Cash Crusader"! Warner Bros. The Dark Knight continued on it's record setting pace Friday evening, taking in another estimated $23 million dollars at the North America box office, easily out-earning this week's two new releases combined - Will Ferrell's latest, Step Brothers, and The X-Files: I Want to Believe. According to boxofficeguru.com, the estimated Friday figure projects to a $72-75m weekend, and combined with a very healthy mid-week gross, would put Dark Knight's total earnings around an unprecedented $310-$315 million after only ten days, which will not only set a number of box office records, but make it the highest grossing film this year. To put the business The Dark Knight is doing in perspective, the film will take in $300 million in ten days. The soon-to-be-second quickest film to the $300m mark was 2006's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, which turned the trick in 16 days. And Dark Knight is doing all this without the benefit of a 4-day weekend and a relatively later summer release for a "blockbuster". The list of records The Dark Knight has or will break is a mile long, but perhaps most noteworthy – 1.) the film will now undoubtedly and easily break the $400m barrier; 2.) it's not inconceivable it could reach $500 and/or become the second-biggest grosser ever behind Titanic; and 3.) even when adjusting ticket prices to account for inflation, Dark Knight should eventually out-earn Tim Burton's 1989 Batman, which at today's prices would have earned an approximate $420m. For those who remember the pop culture phenomena that was the Michael Keaton/Jack Nicholson blockbuster, and when considering there was no Internet, DVD players, or high-def home theater in '89, that The Dark Knight is drawing more people to movie theaters is an astonishing achievement. Again, now that it's showing strong "legs", the only remaining question will be how high can The Dark Knight finally go? On the genre front, the return of the X-Files in Fox's I Want To Believe was met with less-than enthusiastic response from moviegoers. The film earned an estimated $4 million on Friday, putting it on pace for $10-11 million for the weekend.