* 'Dark Knight Rises' U.S., Canadian sales drop 60 percent
* Movie's $64.1 mln pushes domestic total to $289 mln
* 'Dark Knight' international ticket sales reach $248 mln
* 'Ice Age,' remains No. 2; 'The Watch' takes No. 3
(Recasts, adds background)
By Lisa Richwine and Andrea Burzynski
LOS ANGELES, July 29 Batman movie "The Dark
Knight Rises" earned $64.1 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters
during its second weekend, topping box office charts in a
sluggish overall market facing Olympic television coverage and
the impact of the Colorado shooting.
The finale in director Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy
starring Christian Bale added $122.1 million from international
markets and has pulled in $248.2 million overseas since its July
20 debut, distributor Warner Bros. said.
Add in cumulative ticket sales of $289 million in domestic
markets - the United States and Canada - and the global haul now
stands at $537 million for the film that cost its backers some
$250 million to make and tens of millions more to market.
Sales in U.S. and Canadian theaters dropped 60 percent from
its debut weekend, a bigger decline than predecessor "The Dark
Knight" or other recent superhero films.
In 2008, "Dark Knight" fell 53 percent during its second
weekend to earn $75 million domestically, according to
Hollywood.com Box Office. This year, summer smash "The Avengers"
slipped 50 percent in the weekend following its opening in May,
and June release "The Amazing Spider-Man" declined 44 percent.
While "Dark Knight Rises" ranks as one of the year's
highest-grossing movies, sales are weaker than pre-release
forecasts after the opening was overshadowed by the killing of
12 moviegoers at a midnight screening in Aurora, Colorado.
Through Sunday, total "Dark Knight Rises" sales in North
America ran behind "Dark Knight," which hauled in $313.8 million
domestically through its first two weekends.
IMPACT OF OLYMPICS, SHOOTING
Warner Bros. officials declined to discuss box office and
its relation to the shooting for the second week, but industry
watchers said the turnout for the Batman film and other movies
likely suffered from some moviegoer reluctance after the
massacre, as well as Friday's start to the London Olympics.
"It's been a double dose of things," said Paul
Dergarabedian, president of Hollywood.com Box Office. "The
Olympics has been dominating media coverage lately and probably
kept a lot of people home Friday night, and then there's the
He noted that lackluster reviews for this weekend's new
features likely further dampened theater attendance but
predicted that next weekend will see a resurgence.
"There will be a bit more distance from the Aurora shooting,
the Olympics will become routine, and there's some really
exciting films coming out," Dergarabedian said, mentioning
upcoming "Total Recall" and "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days."
Overall domestic ticket sales for the weekend came in 25
percent lower than the same weekend one year ago, according to
Hollywood.com Box Office.
The No. 2 spot belonged to animated children's movie "Ice
Age: Continental Drift," with $13.3 million. It beat out comedy
"The Watch" and dance movie "Step Up Revolution," both of which
made their theater debuts this weekend.
"The Watch" came in third, earning $13 million at domestic
theaters. The film stars Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah
Hill as men who start a neighborhood watch group to battle
aliens. The movie earned largely negative reviews, with just 14
percent of critics praising the film on website Rotten Tomatoes.
"The Watch" also was affected by real-life events. In May,
20th Century Fox changed the movie's title from "Neighborhood
Watch" to distance it from the fatal shooting of black teenager
Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman
Ahead of the weekend, Fox saw the $68 million production
pulling in $13 million to $15 million.
"We didn't really know what to expect," said executive vice
president for domestic distribution at Fox Chris Aronson,
speaking on the box office climate, post-shooting. "It's a
wild-card weekend for sure."
Aronson said he "hopes for a bounceback in the overall
marketplace," which he predicted would benefit all films.
"Step Up Revolution" finished in fourth place with $11.8
million domestically. The movie about a group of flash-mob
dancers in Miami is the fourth in a franchise that has grossed
more than $400 million around the world. Its distributor had
forecast a domestic opening in the low- to mid-teens.
Comedy "Ted" rounded out the top five with $7.4 million.
"Step Up Revolution" was released by a unit of Lions Gate
Entertainment. "The Watch" and "Ice Age" were released
by 20th Century Fox, a unit of News Corp. Sony Corp's
movie division distributed "Spider-Man."
(Reporting By Lisa Richwine and Andrea Burzynski; editing by
Bob Tourtellotte and Mohammad Zargham)