Warner Throws Pie In Face Of sceptical Rivals: "The Dark Knight" Made $158 Million, Not $155 Million

Warner Bros. rivals said Warner’s $155 million estimate of how much The Dark Knight made this weekend was bogus. And they were were right: The film actually pulled in $158 million, not $155 million.

Still not the $160 million Warner was hoping for, but we doubt anyone at Warner Bros or Legendary Pictures is complaining.

Variety: Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ “The Dark Knight” rocketed the Batman film franchise into the superhero stratosphere as it nabbed the highest weekend opening ever in grossing an official $158.3 million — even more than Sunday’s estimate of $155.3 million.

Tally easily beats the $151.1 million opening of “Spider-Man 3” in May 2007. “Dark Knight” enjoyed a better-than-expected Sunday. Final figure of $158.3 million was released Monday morning.

The victory dance didn’t end there. The domestic box office racked up an unprecedented $250 million or more in ticket sales on the enormous strength of filmmaker Christopher Nolan‘s “Dark Knight” and the $27.6 million debut of Universal’s femme-favoured “Mamma Mia!,” making it the biggest three-day weekend ever in terms of total grosses.

Previous record weekend tally was $218.4 million, set in early July 2007 when “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” debuted to $135.6 million.

Warners estimates that “Dark Knight,” returning Christian Bale as DC Comics’ famed superhero Batman and playing in a record 4,366 theatres, could gross as much as $220 million in its first week. That’s more than the entire domestic gross of Nolan’s “Batman Begins,” which cumed $205 million domestically and $166 million overseas. “Dark Knight’s” added popularity is due in part to the death of Heath Ledger, who stars as the creepiest Joker yet.

The Dark Knight has also already raked in more than George-Clooney’s “franchise-killingBatman and Robin made in its entire box-office run.

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