By Todd Cunningham
Just like a superhero, Batman and "Dark Knight Rises" rallied for a knockout Saturday and turned what looked like a bleak box-office weekend into a $64 million victory.
The movie added another $122.1 million from 17,000 locations in 57 overseas markets, upping its international gross to $248.2 million. The worldwide gross after two weeks is $537 million for "Dark Knight Rises."
After a lower-than-expected $18 million Batman haul and lackluster overall numbers on Friday, the first domestic box-office weekend following the Colorado shootings appeared undercut by the tragedy's fallout and the start of the Olympics.
"Dark Knight Rises" was on pace to miss industry projections and the weekend was tracking as much as 30 percent behind the same time frame last year.
But the final entry in director Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy turned the tide with a muscular $25 million Saturday, and things picked up for some of the other movies, too, as Saturday was up 28 percent from Friday.
Also on TheWrap: 5 Things to Know Before Seeing 'The Dark Knight
Fox's "Ice Age: Continental Drift" was No. 2 at $13.4 million, beating out its "The Watch," which took in just $13 million in a disappointing debut weekend. The weekend's other wide opener, Summit's "Step Up Revolution," finished fourth at $11.7 million.
The weekend will still likely wind up down from last year, but the big showing by Warner Bros.' "Dark Knight Rises" will ease the sting. And it suggests the Friday hiccup may have had as much to do with the opening ceremony of the Olympics in London as moviegoers' reluctance to return to the theaters.
Audiences for "The Watch," which starred Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah
Hill, skewed 60 percent male and 59 percent 25 years of age. They gave the film
a "C+" CinemaScore.
The comedy, about a group of suburban fathers who join a neighborhood watch group to break up their daily routines and end up doing battle with invading aliens, was originally titled "Neighborhood Watch." In May Fox opted to change its title out of sensitivity to, and to avoid any connection with, the fatal shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. The man accused of the shooting was part of a neighborhood watch program.
The studio went into the weekend concerned. They received data from research
firm NRG late in the week that said between 20 percent and 25 percent of
moviegoers said they were hesitant to return to theaters in the wake of the
Colorado movie shootings in which 12 died and 57 were
"Dark Knight Rises" had a production budget estimated at $280 million. The film stars Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman.
Here are the weekend's top 10 films
"Dark Knight Rises," $64 million;
"Ice Age: Continental Drift," $13.3 million;
"The Watch," $13 million;
"Step Up Revolution," $11.8 million;
"Ted,' $7.3 million;
"The Amazing Spider-Man," $6.8 million;
"Brave," $4.2 million;
"Magic Mike," $2.5 million;
"Savages," $1.7 million;
"Moonrise Kingdom," $1.3 million
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