"Dark Knight" leads box office for 4th weekend

Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:20pm EDT
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By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Batman outwitted a pair of stoners to lead the North American box office for a fourth weekend on Sunday, becoming the third-biggest movie of all time.

"The Dark Knight" sold about $26.0 million worth of tickets during the three days beginning Friday, taking its haul to $441.5 million after 24 days, said Warner Bros. Pictures.

The superhero sequel now ranks at No. 3 on the all-time list, behind "Titanic" with $601 million and "Star Wars" with $461 million.

But adjusted for inflation, the Caped Crusader ranks more modestly at No. 49, according to tracking firm Box Office Mojo. The 1939 epic "Gone With the Wind" wins by that measure with $1.4 billion in today's dollars.

Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner Inc, said it expects "Dark Knight" to surpass "Star Wars" next weekend and end up with about $520 million.

The last movie to enjoy an unbroken four-week reign at No. 1 was "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" in 2003-2004, according to Box Office Mojo.

Internationally, "The Dark Knight" has earned $263.1 million, with Britain contributing $69.3 million and Australia $35.6 million.

The drug-fueled caper "Pineapple Express," named for a strong brand of marijuana, opened at No. 2 in North America with $22.4 million. It would have been No. 1 had Columbia Pictures not opted to open the picture two days earlier than usual on Wednesday to maximize sales during the school holidays. The film's five-day total stands at $40.5 million.   Continued...

<p>British actor Christian Bale and his wife Sandra "Sibi" Blazic pose during a photocall for the film "The Dark Knight" in central Barcelona July 23, 2008. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino</p>