When Christopher Nolan's bleak, thrilling
"The Dark Knight" hit theaters in the summer of 2008,
it shattered the record for the largest box office opening in film history (set
the year before by "Spider-Man 3") with over $150 million in the U.S.
Critics raved (to the tune of a 94% score on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences
flocked to the film in droves. Heath Ledger's harrowing performance
as the Joker was especially noteworthy, and would bring the talented and tragic
actor a posthumous Oscar -- a first for a superhero flick. The film remains --
along with "Titanic," "Avatar" and "The Avengers" -- one of only four films to
break $500 million domestically.
Will "The Dark Knight Rises" rise to such box office heights when it comes
out this weekend? Have audiences been pining to hear Christian Bale's gravelly Batman
voice rumble for the past four years? Will a lesser known actor (Tom Hardy) as a
lesser known villain (Bane) diminish the gate? Or will audiences, who have
already sent "The Hunger Games" and "The Avengers" to massive returns this year, return
Batman to the top of the list?
All will soon be revealed, but for now, here's a list of the current top 30
opening weekends of all time.
Bing: Watch the trailer for "The Dark