The Dark Knight smashes US box office records

While the figures announced at the weekend are strictly box office estimates – and rival studios are already treating them as controversial - The Dark Knight has soared to the top of the US box office, taking in approximately $155.3 million across its launch weekend, smashing the record held by Spider-Man 3 and grabbing the highest opening day total to boot. With success in the handful of overseas markets it has launched with, this looks like being a very profitable summer for Bruce Wayne. That sound you hear? Warners backing up three dump trucks of money to persuade Chris Nolan to make a third film.

The other sound you might be hearing is the singing success of Mamma Mia which was successfully counterprogrammed against the denizens of Gotham City and made $27.6 million, the biggest US opening for a musical. The two new films shoved Hancock down to third, though the superhero movie is still hanging in well after three weeks with $191 taken so far. Journey To The Centre Of The Earth slipped one place also, and has $43 million in the bank. And at fifth, we find Hellboy II, which appears to be faltering badly after that decent first weekend. It dropped 71% in its second week.

At sixth, mean while, Wall-E is showing decent legs, making $182.4 million so far, managing to easily best new arrival Space Chimps, which could only launch at seventh, with $7.3 million. Wanted is at eighth with $123.3 million, while Get Smart is about to leave the charts, landing at ninth with $119.5 million. Finally, bringing up the bottom is Kung Fu Panda, with $206.5 million to date.