'The Dark Knight' Strikes Again at Box Office

Screen Bites: Dark Knight Reviews...

The Dark Knight has done it again. For the second straight weekend, despite trailing a new release for total North America box office receipts on Friday, the Warner Bros. smash made a Saturday-Sunday comeback to lead the domestic box office charts for the fourth consecutive weekend.

According to figures reported by boxofficemojo.com, the film tallied an estimated $26 million dollars for the 3-day frame, just 39% below its total last weekend in a continuing show of strong legs and a possible indicator it could eventually break the $500m mark by a healthy margin. Its cumulative total now stands at an estimated $442m, good for #3 on the all-time box office chart. Ironically enough (more on why below), the film will likely pass Star Wars to become the second-highest grossing film ever by the end of next weekend.

Its $26m take also ranks as the third best Fourth Weekend total in box office history, topped only by Titanic and 2002's Spider-Man.

This week's Friday-champ-but-weekend-runner-up was the Judd Apatow stoner-comedy Pineapple Express, which totaled an estimated $22.4m million for the Friday-Sunday frame. The Sony release probably cost itself the weekend win by opening to a combined $18m on Wednesday and Thursday, but Sony will take solace in a robust $40m total for the low budget ($27 million) production.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor tallied $16m, good enough for third place but a steep $60% decline from its opening weekend total. The Universal release has now accumulated $70.7m after ten day in theaters.

Looking ahead to next weekend it will be Batman vs. Jedi Knights as the animated feature Star Wars: The Clone Wars , along with the Ben Stiller/Jack Black/Robert Downey Jr. comedy Tropic Thunder (opening Wednesday) look to final knock The Dark Knight off its month-long perch.

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