The box office wasn't quite so hardy on Sunday as studios had estimated, with several releases coming in somewhat below forecasts. Warner Bros.' As a result, The Dark Knight , which had been expected to earn $43.8 million for the weekend, wound up with $42.7 million, and Universal's The Mummy Tomb of the Dragon Emperor , which had been expected to earn $42.5 million, actually came in at $40.5 million. The revised numbers appeared to suggest that the Batman sequel would likely not pass the $400-million mark until today (Tuesday) rather than Monday, as several analysts had forecast. Meanwhile, on MSNBC.com, film commentator Erik Lundegaard argued that there is little chance that The Dark Knight will be able to challenge Titanic for the title of the highest-grossing movie in history. Suggesting that from here on out the movie will depend on repeat business if it is to gross $600 million -- as Titanic did -- Lundegaard commented, "Fanboys are fanboys, but there are no repeat customers like teenage girls in love with Leonardo Dicaprio." Lundegaard notes that the fall-off in ticket sales for Knight closely mirrors that of last year's Pirates Of The Caribbean Dead Man's Chest . If it continues to remain the same, he observed, Knight will probably end up with a domestic total of $515 million.

The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Media by Numbers (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date) 1. The Dark Knight, Warner Bros., $42,664,219, 3 Wks. ($393,751,065); 2. The Mummy Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Universal, $40,457,770, (New); 3. Step Brothers , Sony, $16,506,526, 2 Wks. ($63,172,026); 4. Mamma Mia!, Universal, $12,615,515, 3 Wks. ($87,470,125); 5. Journey to the Center of the Earth, Warner Bros., $6,662,406, 4 Wks. ($72,927,314); 6. Swing Vote, Disney, $6,230,669, (New); 7. Hancock , Sony, $5,087,756, 5 Wks. ($215,883,222); 8. WALL-E, Disney, $4,603,179, 6 Wks. ($204,078,076); 9. The X-Files I Want to Believe , Fox, $3,385,878, 2 Wks. ($17,021,373); 10 . Space Chimps , Fox, $2,720,177, 3 Wks. ($21,971,016).

05/08/2008