Knight Tops Mummy At Box-Office

“The Dark Knight” held the top spot for the third week in a row, the first film of 2008 to do so, and fell a mere 41.7% in its second weekend.

Adding a major $43.8 million haul to its total, ‘Knight now will break the $400 million line later today – crossing that line in 18 days and easily beating the previous fastest achiever of that record – “Shrek 2” which took 43 days to do so.

Bats beat out “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” which opened to $42.5 million and an admittedly stronger per screen count ($11,289 vs. $10,267). The new ‘Mummy’ went well enough on Friday that many thought it would win the weekend, but numbers dropped off quickly on Saturday.

The reason may be due to word of mouth as the film is one of the worst-reviewed major releases of the year, scoring a mere 9% and 3.6/10 on Rotten Tomatoes along with a 31% and 4.9/10 at Metacritic.

The slightly better but still underwhelmingly reviewed other new release this week was the Kevin Costner election comedy “Swing Vote” which opened in sixth place to a mere $6.3 million. Costing a mere $21 million to make, the film looks set to quickly disappear into the ether with little to no fanfare or impact on the bottom line.

Of the holdovers it was “The X-Files: I Want to Believe” that made the news with a 65.8% second weekend plummet to earn just $3.4 million this week, proving that fans of the franchise are definitely not in love with this entry. The film will end its run with about 30% of the gross of the first film – and barely make its limited $30 million budget back.

Will Ferrell comedy “Step Brothers” held well with a 47.3% and a $16.3 million second weekend haul. If it continues on this tack, the comedy looks like it could end up passing the $100 million mark. “Mamma Mia!”, “Wall-E” and “Journey to the Center of the Earth” also held strong with falls in the 25-30% range.

On the limited release front Sundance winner “Frozen River” opened to a strong $10,471 screen average, not far behind was “In Search of a Midnight Kiss” with $7,300. The big news though was that Lionsgate succeeded in their plans to essentially dump Clive Barker’s “Midnight Meat Train” which scored an utterly dismal $313 per screen average.