Also-Ran Warner Bros. Saved By "The Dark Knight," Suddenly Has Second-Highest Gross Of The Year

The Dark Knight‘s phenomenal ticket sales helped Warner Bros. leap-frog over five major studios (every one but Paramount) to score the second-largest market share in Hollywood. Just a week ago, the studio was in sixth–and last–place. And a few months ago, some were panicking that Warner Bros. would have an awful summer thanks to Speed Racer‘s box-office crash.

But four Manolo-Blahnik loving New York women, Maxwell Smart, and Batman changed all of that. To date, Warner Bros. has raked in more than $517 million since summer-movie season began in early May, not even counting revenues from recently-absorbed indie Picturehouse. And the studio’s poised to continue this run thanks to The Dark Knight‘s still-strong ticket sales and four similarly fashion-loving friends at the centre of August’s Sisterhood of the travelling Pants 2.

Still, it’s a close competition between Paramount, Warner Bros and 20th Century Fox for the top spot. It wasn’t long ago that Paramount surpassed six-month champ 20th Century Fox thanks to Iron Man and Indiana Jones and 20th Century Fox has dropped to third due to a series of spectacular flops (The Happening, Meet Dave). But Fox has its last shot at a summer blockbuster this weekend with the X-Files sequel. Will it make the $30 million+ necessary to regain the number 2 spot? Will Warner Bros. make the $300 million more this summer it needs to reach $1 billion in domestic revenue? Will Paramount continue its ride at the top with Tropic Thunder? The truth, as any X-Files fan can tell you, is out there.

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