Three-time winner Batman knocks down ‘Total Recall’
“Dark Knight Rises” racked up an estimated US$36.4 million (RM113 million) in ticket sales from theatres in the United States and Canada, distributor Warner Bros said yesterday. The movie is the third instalment in a popular Batman trilogy starring Christian Bale.
“Total Recall,” featuring Colin Farrell in a role played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1990, grossed US$26 million from Friday through Sunday. Family sequel “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days” took the No. 3 slot, earning US$14.7 million.
“Dark Knight Rises” has hauled in US$354.6 million at North American (US and Canadian) theatres since its July 20, 2012 debut, ranking as one of the highest-grossing films in movie history. Still, it stands behind its 2008 predecessor, “The Dark Knight,” which collected US$393 million domestically through three weekends.
“Dark Knight Rises” international sales have now topped US$378 million, for a global total of US$733 million through Sunday, according to Warner Bros.
Jeffrey Goldstein, executive vice president of theatrical distribution, said the studio was confident the film would continue performing well in the coming weeks.
“Of course the horrendous tragedy in Colorado,” in which a gunman opened fire on a “Dark Knight” audience killing 12, affected the numbers, he said.
“But we’re settling in after that tragedy,” Goldstein told Reuters, adding, “This is such a unique story, and there’s no pattern to follow.”
He noted that “The Dark Knight Rises” outperformed the 2008 “Dark Knight” in its third weekend. “Mid-weeks have been strong, and the next couple of weeks should be interesting,” Goldstein said.
The US$26 million take of new rival “Total Recall” hit the low end of producer Sony’s projections for an opening in the mid-to-high US$20 millions. The original opened with a similar US$25.5 million in 1990, when tickets were cheaper.
Sony spent more than US$125 million to produce the new version, one of three big-budget films the studio released this summer after “Men in Black 3” and “The Amazing Spider-Man.”
“Total Recall” added US$6.2 million from 12 international markets over the weekend.
“We kind of are where we had anticipated,” said Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution for Sony Corp’s Sony Pictures studio.
“The movie looks like it cost twice what it cost to make, and it’s tracking very well.”
Bruer said that as the film opens wider in western Europe, Latin America and Asia, “I think we’re going to be very pleased the results,” adding “It’s always been a world play.”
The “Total Recall” remake sticks to the original’s basic story about a man who takes a virtual vacation in his mind and must get back to reality. When science goes awry, the man finds himself hunted by police and learns he is a spy working for an underground resistance. Jessica Biel and Kate Beckinsale also star.
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days” got off to a strong start for a movie that cost just US$22 million to make. The film is the third movie based on books by Jeff Kinney about a middle-school student named Greg. Fox had forecast a US$15 million to US$17 million opening.
Among the weekend’s other top movies, animated family sequel “Ice Age: Continental Drift” racked up US$8.4 million during its fourth weekend. Adult comedy “The Watch” earned US$6.3 million in its second weekend.
The summer film season — usually measured from early May through Labour Day weekend in September — represents the most lucrative time of the year for studios, providing as much as 40 per cent of annual box-office dollars.
Warner Bros, a unit of Time Warner Inc, released “Dark Knight Rises.” Sony Corp’s movie studio distributed “Total Recall.” News Corp’s 20th Century Fox studio released “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” “Ice Age” and “The Watch.” — Reuters