July 30, 2008 / 1:20 AM / 10 years ago

"Dark Knight" director surprised at film success

TOKYO (Reuters) - Christopher Nolan, director of the new Batman sequel “The Dark Knight,” said on Tuesday even he was surprised at the film’s box office success which has shattered records in North American theatres.

Christopher Nolan, director of the movie "The Dark Knight", poses for a portrait in Beverly Hills, California June 29, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Batman buried his rivals at the North American box office for a second weekend on Sunday, racing past $300 million in a record 10 days, distributor Warner Bros. Pictures said.

“When you do a film of this scale, you are certainly hoping to reach a large number of people. But I think we all have been completely taken by surprise by the scale of the film’s success in America particularly,” Nolan told reporters in Tokyo.

“I would not be able to point to exactly what it is ... If I knew that all my films would have been successful,” he added at the event to promote the film, which opens in theatres across Japan on August 9.

A week after it scored a record breaking $158 million opening, “The Dark Knight” added a new title to its list of superlatives: the best second weekend, passing the holiday-boosted $72 million haul of 2004’s “Shrek 2.”

Just six days after its release in North America, the film had grossed more domestically than its predecessor, “Batman Begins,” did in its entire run, according to studio Warner Bros, which is owned by Time Warner Inc.

English filmmaker Nolan had also directed 2005’s “Batman Begins.”

The $180 million “The Dark Knight,” which stars Christian Bale as Batman and late actor Heath Ledger as the Joker, is reportedly drawing strong repeat business.

Reporting by Chika Osaka, writing by Miral Fahmy, editing by Mike Collett-White

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