'Dark Knight' rebounds to take No. 1 again

3:50 PM, Aug 5, 2012   |    comments
Tom Hardy as the villain Bane in "The Dark Knight Rises." Photo courtesy Warner Brothers.
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The Dark Knight Rises took first place at theaters this weekend, righting a listing box office and giving it the No. 1 spot for the third consecutive weekend.

The third installment of the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy did $36.4 million, according to studio estimates by box office trackers Hollywood.com.

The film has done $354.6 million since its release July 20, when a gunman shot and killed 12 people and wounded 58 at Rises' midnight premiere in Aurora, Colo.

The shooting marred the debut, and some analysts speculated after last weekend's 60% drop from Rises' opening whether the film would be overshadowed by real tragedy.

But this weekend marked just a 41% drop from last week, a sign that word of mouth is gaining traction.

Tim Briody of Boxofficeprophets.com called the third week performance "a good rebound from last weekend's drop."

"It has righted the ship somewhat, though it continues to fall further behind the pace of The Dark Knight," he said of Nolan's second Batman movie, which did $533 million.

Briody said that the Olympics, which can be a box-office drain, had a only a momentary effect on the movie's haul. He says the Games' primary blow to Rises' numbers may have come last week.

"The Olympics only negatively affected (last) Friday thanks to the opening ceremony," he said. "The Dark Knight Rises continues to chug along."

Less so Total Recall, the sci-fi remake that took second place with $26 million, about $2 million below projections.

Critics didn't care for what they remembered about Recall. Just 31% of critics recommended it, while a weak 56% of fans liked it, according to survey site Rottentomatoes.com.

The live-action family film Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days did $14.7 million, meeting most of its modest expectations. While just 50% of reviewers gave it a thumb-up, 81% of moviegoers liked it, the survey site said.

The cartoon Ice Age: Continental Drift was fourth with $8.4 million, followed by the comedy The Watch with $6.4 million.

Final figures are due Monday.

By Scott Bowles, USA TODAY

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