Three-time winner Batman knocks down "Total Recall"

Sun Aug 5, 2012 2:06pm EDT
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By Lisa Richwine and Chris Michaud

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" dominated U.S. and Canadian box offices for a third time, holding firm to the weekend's No. 1 spot and leaving the debut of science fiction remake "Total Recall" in distant second place.

"Dark Knight Rises" racked up an estimated $36.4 million in ticket sales from theaters in the United States and Canada, distributor Warner Bros. said on Sunday. The movie is the third installment in a popular Batman trilogy starring Christian Bale.

"Total Recall," featuring Colin Farrell in a role played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1990, grossed $26 million from Friday through Sunday. Family sequel "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" took the No. 3 slot, earning $14.7 million.

"Dark Knight Rises" has hauled in $354.6 million at North American (U.S. and Canadian) theaters since its July 20 debut, ranking as one of the highest-grossing films in movie history. Still, it stands behind its 2008 predecessor, "The Dark Knight," which collected $393 million domestically through three weekends.

"Dark Knight Rises" international sales have now topped $378 million, for a global total of $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."   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