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Weekend Box Office: The Dark Knight has No Trouble Rising to the Top

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By Chris Kavan - 07/23/12 at 11:11 PM CT

Amidst a nation stunned by a horrific attack at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, CO that ended with 12 dead and 58 injured, studios wisely held off box office results until Monday. It may be awhile before we learn the reason behind suspect James Holmes' attack and we can only speculate how much of an impact it had on audiences.

This is where I jump in to give my two cents. There will always be senseless violence. In fact, here in Nebraska, in 2007, Robert A. Hawkins walked into a Von Maur department store, killing eight people, injuring four more, before he himself committed suicide. It was tragic and it was shocking, and while those shock waves are still being felt, we have recovered. People still go to the mall. They don't forget, but they don't let it dictate their lives, either. One deranged individual shouldn't dictate how we act. To me, the movie theater is a special place. I could watch movies on a big screen at home, but there's nothing quite like experiencing a film on the really big screen with a group of like-minded people. I'm not going to give in to fear or paranoia because of one man. What happened is terrible, but it's not going to keep me from the theater and I hope it won't keep you away, either.

Now that I got that off my chest, to the numbers. As expected, The Dark Knight Rises was the clear winner with an opening of $160.9 million - overall the third highest opening behind The Avengers ($207.4 million) and Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows, Part 2 ($169.2 million). It was the best opening for a 2D movie ever, helped along by the $30.6 million midnight opening (second best behind, once again, Deathly Hallows, Part 2 at $43.5 million). It also earned an impressive $19 million from IMAX screens. It's unknown what effect the Aurora attack had, but weekend estimates were projected in the $180-$200 range and there is no doubt there was some fallout.

Beyond Batman, nearly every other movie in the top 10 fell 50% or above, with a few exceptions. Last week's top film, Ice Age: Continental Drift, took a 56% hit and landed in second with $20.4 million. The film stands at $88.8 million after two weeks. Despite the recent success of family films, it's looking like Continental Drift is going to be the lowest-grossing film in the Ice Age series.

The Amazing Spider-Man likewise dropped a spot from second to third and took in an additional $10.8 million - a not-so-amazing 68% drop from last week. Yet its $228.6 million total is right on track with its $230 million budget and international totals mean this is series that will have legs.

Ted and Brave round out the top five. Ted was off 55% with $10 million. The $180.4 million total still looks very impressive next to its $50 million budget. Brave was down 46% (bucking the 50%+ trent) with $6 million. Pixar's latest has brought in $208.7 million after five weeks in theaters.

Outside the top five, Channing Tatum can add another $100 million film to his 2012 count as Magic Mike brought in $4.3 million in sixth place (for the second week) and wound up with $101.9 million.

Woody Allen's latest broking into the top 10, up from 11th place last week with a $1.4 million for a $11.1 million total and had the lowest drop out of any film in the top 10 with a 42.5% drop.

This week Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill, Vince Vaughn and Richard Ayoade join The Watch while Step Up Revolution hopes that people are still in the mood for dancing.

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