‘Dark Knight’ Tops $500 Million

Christopher Nolan’s macabre Batman movie continues to dominate the domestic box office, having vaulted into the second top spot of all time box office earnings, but still short of Titanic’s leading $600 million take. I’m still amazed that such a dark and creepy anti-hero film has reigned for much of the late summer as a definitive, global blockbuster.

“The Dark Knight” on Sunday became the second movie in Hollywood history to top $500 million at the domestic box office, raising its total to $502.4 million, according to estimates from distributor Warner Bros.

The film hit that mark in just over six weeks, half the time it took “Titanic,” which reached $500 million in a little more than three months. “Titanic,” the biggest modern blockbuster, remains No. 1 on the domestic charts with $600.8 million.

Despite its brisk pace, “The Dark Knight” is not expected to approach the total for “Titanic,” which put up smaller numbers week after week but lingered at the top of the box office for months.

Dan Fellman, head of distribution at Warner Bros., said he expects “The Dark Knight” to finish at about $530 million, though it could reach $550 million if business persists as strongly as it has.

“I keep raising the number because it just keeps holding better than expected,” Fellman said.

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