"Dark Knight" sales below forecasts after shooting

Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:18pm EDT
 
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By Ronald Grover and Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "The Dark Knight Rises" recorded strong ticket sales in its opening weekend, but well below forecasts given by many in Hollywood, as some moviegoers appeared to have stayed away after a shooting rampage at a midnight showing of the film on Friday.

The film grossed an estimated $162 million in showings through Sunday in U.S. and Canadian movie theaters, according to studio estimates from people with knowledge of the data. That was lower than the $173 million that had been projected on Saturday based on Friday receipts.

"The Dark Knight Rises" was one of the most-anticipated films of the year before a gunman opened fire on moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado, early Friday, killing 12 and wounding 58 more.

Before the shooting, box office forecasters had predicted sales in a range of $170 million to $198 million from Friday through Sunday, just shy of the record $207 million set by superhero movie "The Avengers" in May.

A spokeswoman for Warner Brothers, which produced "Dark Knight," had no comment.

Fox's animated family movie "Ice Age: Continental Drift," which grossed $44.6 million last week and was the top-selling film, had a larger-than-anticipated 51 percent drop for its second week. It grossed $21 million, box office sources said.

"The Amazing Spider-Man," which opened with near-record sales on July 3, collected $10.5 million over the weekend. The film, produced by Sony Pictures Entertainment, had passed $217 million in domestic sales on Thursday, according to Box Office Mojo.

Universal Pictures' raucous comedy "Ted," about a man and his foul-mouthed teddy bear, notched $10.1 million at the box office. Disney's animated film "Brave" grossed $5.8 million.   Continued...

 
A poster for the Warner Bros. film "The Dark Knight Rises" is displayed at Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, California, July 20, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Prouser