Prospect Weekend Per Screen Total
1 The Dark Knight $26,030,000 (-39.0%) $6,467 $441,541,000
2 Pineapple Express $22,400,000 $7,291 $40,474,000
3 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor $16,113,000 (-60.2%) $4,264 $70,671,000
4 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 $10,770,000 $3,978 $19,712,000
5 Step Brothers $8,900,000 (-46.1%) $2,796 $80,903,000
6 Mamma Mia! $8,081,000 (-35.9%) $2,530 $104,017,000
7 Journey to the Center of the Earth $4,855,000 (-27.1%) $2,464 $81,759,000
8 Hancock $3,300,000 (-35.1%) $1,461 $221,709,000
9 Swing Vote $3,106,000 (-50.1%) $1,403 $12,002,000
10 Wall-E $3,045,000 (-33.9%) $1,420 $210,112,000

This Just in: … Robert Mitchell’s hotly contested “second base” story did not hold up after U.N. fact-checkers recently designated second base to be “hand on penis or in vagina, not necessarily to completion” which was an upgrade from previous generations rule of nipple touching. This is because of the recession, as oral sex has recently been set as third base. Mitchell was contacted, and his press liason said this “It’s strange that in this 21st century the U.N. feels that they have to intercede in a regional matter. What and who do they think they are, the world’s police… For sex-bragging?” The U.N. has yet to come to a ruling for anal, as it does not fit the four-quadrant specificities of the baseball-based euphamisms, though “took it out of the park” and “a foul ball” have also been pitched (but not catched).

There is an ennui that sets in when a winning team keeps on winning. There’s no surprise any more. But, let’s face it, the #1 slot is something that’s been percieved as a signifier, when really it means very little. In the year of Titanic, Good Will Hunting was never the number one film of the weekend, but as it starred relative outsiders and was directed by Gus Van Sant, that it made $100 Million was huge huge huge. Eye of the Beholder opened as the number #1 film the weekend it opened with less than ten million. It’s simply a marketing tool that has been mispercieved as dominance. The greater victory was Batman deflecting direct competition of The Mummy, which it has crushed in its wake (60% drop for you, Rob Cohen film). Since the numbers themselves are the math, being #1 repeatedly has no effect on the x’s or y’s of how a film does. But attitude helps, and this pic has attitude.

Had Pineapple Express wanted the weekend, it should have opened Friday. The gross total might have been less, but it would have gotten to around $30 for sure. Instead it opened Wednesday, to avoid the olympics, and has $40 in the bank, but a $22.4 weekend total. I thought the Wednesday number was a signifier that this was going to be bigger than it was, all things, but since the film cost $27 Million (if that’s true, Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg must be getting a nice slice of the backend, and that’s not a euphamism), the thing should be in profit-profit by the end of next weekend.

But if if’s and but’s were candy and nuts, we’d all have wierd looking asses, and so The Dark Knight was able to hold on to the top slot for the fourth straight week. Sunday estimates put it right above Shrek 2‘s #3 spot on the all-time list, which is hinky, but even if the estimate is off a million or so, it’ll be there sometime tomorrow. Chud’s MB poster Kirby Drummond (aka Innocent X) and I often bat back and forth the idea of the modern pussification of men, as so many love stories of the modern era (Eternal Sunshne of the Spotless Mind, Wall*E) are not only told from the male perspective, but in romantic cadence, the male is the “woman” of the story, in that he’s often the passive figure acted upon. For the modern nerd, a sexualy aggressive woman is the goal. And if the modern fanboy is the equivalent of a teenaged girl, and comic books are – in their way- wish fulfillment fantasies akin to harlequin romance novels, then The Dark Knight may yet do more unadjusted business than a certain boat-sinking picture that came out eleven years ago and was already referenced once in this column. Here is where the slog comes in, or that is to say, it needs to level out even more if it wants to get close to Titanic numbers. But that it’s over Shrek 2 suggests that Warner’s wants to wreck some records, so by the end of next weekend it should be over Star Wars. I got called out for saying I didn’t think TDK was a phenomenon a couple weeks back, and it is, but in terms of cultural saturation, Knight – which will finish with more cash in hand than any Star Wars film when all is said and done – will never have that kind of cultural saturation. Then again, its tropes (which were also hand-me downs pre-creation) have been part of the pop culture world for nearly a century. And for that I can’t tell if people are responding to something new, or are going for comfort food. Maybe both. Fortunately, there’s no real competition in the pike, though it’s likely it’ll take second place to Tropic Thunder next week, and possibly second or third to Death Race the week after (the Lost in Space for the 21st century). By the end of the month, it will be over that $500 hurdle, I would reckon.  

When I saw… no that’s not fair, when I experienced SotTP2, I know that I had experienced a game changer. I was a part of something more and bigger than myself. Something that spoke to everyone, something that had something to say about global warming, about the conflict in Irag and in Georgia, about how heterosexuality has changed  for women over the last fifty years, about mutability, about John F. Kennedy, about Stiv Bators, about Marshall McCluhan, about Luis Bunuel, and I knew that it would be something that would be passed around for generations to come. Still, it should be profitable for Warner Brothers, who also have Clone Wars next week. Which will likey be treated as a leser product since it’s essentially advertising for the upcoming TV show. If they want to ride (and shorty want to ride) The Dark Knight as hard and as long as they can, both Sisterhood and Clone will become TDK‘s bitches in the scheme of Warner-think.

Mamma Mia! crossed the nine digit mark, and is rather profitable, but Step Brothers held stronger. With all the competition, it’s going to have to flex to get to one hundred, but the fucking Catalina Wine Mixer should keep it in good enough straights to get there. Still, lot of comedies out now. Journey to the Center of the Earth may yet crack $100. Who knew? Hell, it may do better than The Mummy 3, which fell hard.

Swing Vote is done, should get into high teens, Wall*E and Hancock are wrapping up their runs comfortably above $200 million. Next week it’ll be interesting to see how Tropic Thunder hits, and if it can keep The Dark Knight from its five-peat. At this point, I wouldn’t count it out, as TT is a very in-joke film.