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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

weekend box office: ‘Tropic Thunder’ smacks Batman down a notch

The back of the Dark Knight is finally broken. Here’s what happened at North American multiplexes this weekend:

1. Tropic Thunder: $26 million
2. The Dark Knight: $16.8 million
3. Star Wars: The Clone Wars: $15.5 million
4. Mirrors: $11.1 million
5. Pineapple Express: $10 million (dropping 57% in its second week)
Thunder earned a total of $37 million since its opening last Wednesday, which is pretty good for a satire. But the Dark Knight still had his bright day: the flick has now edged past Star Wars to become the No. 2 movie in all-time grosses, with $471 million… though No. 1, Titanic, with a tad over $600 million, is still a long ways away. When grosses are adjusted for inflation, Knight is at No. 39, behind, of all movies, Beverly Hills Cop, and it will certainly keep edging its way up this list, but it has no hope in hell of overtaking the top movie, Gone With the Wind, and its adjusted gross of — are you ready for this? — $1.4 billion. In fact, Nos. 2 through 4 — Star Wars, The Sound of Music, and E.T. — all enjoy adjusted grosses over $1 billion. No movie today could ever hope to crash that party, not with all the other entertainment options we have at our disposal now.

The other measure of a weekend’s take, the per-screen average, again was won by an indie, the IFC flick A Girl Cut in Two, with its per-screen of $9,750, though it took that in on each of only two screens. The indie Elegy was a close second, at $9,000 on each of six screens. But in third place was Tropic Thunder, with its per-screen of $7,833, at 3,319 venues.

[numbers via Box Office Mojo]

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