Since the box office numbers from last week were not formally released until after the weekend passed, we need to play a quick game of catch-up with 'The Dark Knight Rises.' The third and final of Christopher Nolan's Batman movies opened to $160 million, a number that is staggering, but not record breaking. Did it even stand a chance of breaking the $200 million mark and challenging 'The Avengers' for highest opening weekend of all time? Did the tragic events in Aurora, Colorado have an adverse effect on the opening gross? To that second question: yes. To that first question: no.

FilmWeekendPer ScreenTotal
1 The Dark Knight Rises
$64,075,000 (-60.2%)$14,549 $289,086,000
2 Ice Age: Continental Drift $13,300,000 (-34.9%)$3,438 $114,847,000
3The Watch$13,000,000$4,104$13,000,000
4Step Up: Revolution $11,800,000$4,597 $11,800,000
5Ted $7,353,000 (-26.6%)$2,350 $193,619,000
6The Amazing Spider-Man $6,800,000 (-37.5%)$2,152 $242,053,000
7Brave $4,237,000 (-29.7%)$1,661$217,261,000
8Magic Mike $2,580,000 (-39.9%)$1,243 $107,587,000
9Savages$1,753,000 (-48.4%)$1,240$43,899,000
10Moonrise Kingdom$1,387,000 (-24.3%)$1,626$38,396,000


It was reported that up to 25% of moviegoers felt uneasy returning to movie theaters these past two weekends, so yeah, 'The Dark Knight Rises' probably made a good $10-20 million less than is would have under normal circumstances (which would have made it the second biggest opening of all time instead of the third). But did the nearly three hour long Batman epic have a chance of conquering the shorter, more kid-friendly and crowd-pleasing romp that is 'The Avengers'? Nah. Although this film's gross will forever be colored by tragedy, there's no getting around it: this was a successful opening for what is ultimately going to be a successful film, just not quite as big as some early estimates.

And that takes us to now, where 'The Dark Knight Rises' suffered a big but expected 60% drop for a second weekend gross of $64 million. The film's ten-day total stands at $289 million, about twenty million shy of where 'The Dark Knight' stood in 2008, but that's not bad at all. The last film was a genuine phenomenon, a special kind of lightning-in-a-bottle that this film was never going to replicate. There is no way 'The Dark Knight Rises' won't break $400 million by the time all is said and done. Some will say the film's failure to hit $500 million will make it a disaster, but nah…you're not going to find anyone turning up their nose at this cash.

Believe it or not, there were other films not called 'The Dark Knight Rises' in theaters this weekend, although you wouldn't know it from their grosses. 'Ice Age: Continental Drift' held onto the second spot, beating out two new releases with just over $13 million, bringing the film's total gross to $114 million. It'll probably settle down around $150 million or so, which, when combined with DVD money, is just enough to earn us an 'Ice Age 5.'

As for those new releases…ouch.

Despite a cast of comedy all-stars, 'The Watch' opened to a borderline devastating $13 million, a mere fraction of what a Ben Stiller/Vince Vaughn/Jonah Hill joint should have made. Political pundits may blame the film's accidentally controversial neighborhood watch plot, but the the truth is that the film didn't open well because the advertising was dire and no one wanted to see it. Simple enough, really. Right under it, 'Step Up Revolution' opened to $11 million, about half of what a 'Step Up' movie should have opened to. Blame the summer release for this one: this thing would have cleaned up if they released it in September.

The rest of the top ten was business as usual. With a weekend take of $7 million and a total gross of $193 million, 'Ted' is within spitting distance of $200 million, making it one of the true Big Hits of 2012 from a profit standpoint. In comparison, the $242 million gross of 'The Amazing Spider-Man' (of which $6 million came from this weekend) is a bigger number, but it's only passable. This thing cost $230 million (but probably more) and these numbers are high enough to not be embarrassing, but not high enough to earn the folks at Sony any special champagne-filled gift baskets.

And the rest? 'Brave' took in $4 million for a total of $217 million. 'Magic Mike' took in $2 million for a total of $107 million (making it the second Big Hit of 2012). 'Moonrise Kingdom' continued to hold on the bottom of the top ten, taking in another $1 million for a $38 million gross (Big Hit #3).

Next weekend will see Len Wiseman's 'Total Recall' remake unleashed in theaters. Expect everyone to go see 'The Dark Knight Rises' again.

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