The Dark Knight Rises topped the weekend box office again with $36 million.

HollywoodNews.com:In the face of two relatively non-mighty openers, The Dark Knight Rises (review/spoiler-review) topped the weekend box office again with $36 million. As has been the case throughout the film’s much-debated run (which is really only 17 days old), it’s doing pretty spectacular by any logical standard but must be defended from those who think it automatically should have topped The Dark Knight and/or challenged The Avengers.

The film has $354 million after three weekends, versus The Dark Knight ($393 million) and The Avengers ($457 million). It’s the third-biggest 17-day total of all-time, closely surpassing Avatar ($352 million) as the third-fastest film to reach $350 million. It will crack $400 million in two or three weekends (surely the fourth-fastest movie to do so if it can in less than Shrek 2’s 43 days) and anything after that is merely bragging rights. It may or may not crack $1 billion worldwide, with around $700 million so far and holding up relatively well. Despite my concerns following its Harry Potter/Twilight-esque opening weekend, it’s already having a leggier run than any recent Harry Potter or Twilight Saga sequel, as well as Spider-Man 3 (2.2x its weekend) or Iron Man 2 (2.4x times its weekend). It’ll out gross Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith ($380 million) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part II ($381 million) around next weekend.

It will probably outgross Transformers 2 ($402 million), Spider-Man ($403 million), and The Hunger Games ($405 million) by the end of the month, with Toy Story 3 ($415 million), The Lion King ($422 million), and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest ($423 million) waiting on tap if it can keep those non-IMAX screens during the end-of-August deluge. So relax Bat-fans, it’s doing just fine.

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