Batman Breaks $400 Million

Variety reported today news that Warner Bros.' "The Dark Knight," the new Batman film based on the characters published by DC Comics, has earned over $400 million in the United States just 18 days after its release last month. The previous record for the fastest trip to 400 million was 43 days with DreamWorks' "Shrek 2."

Directed by Christopher Nolan and boasting an all-star cast including Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Gary Oldman and Michael Caine, "The Dark Knight" is by any standard a massive success, engaging fans with a groundbreaking alternate reality game, breaking numerous ticket sales records, earning the best film reviews of the year and of course outclassing its predecessor, "Batman Begins," in virtually every way. "The Dark Knight" has maintained dominance over the U.S. box office for three consecutive weeks, dashing analyst predictions that the harshly reviewed latest installment of the anemic "The Mummy" franchise would take the top spot when it debuted last weekend.

With its critical and commercial success, "The Dark Knight" sits atop a summer movie season fueled by comic book-inspired films that include "The Incredible Hulk," "Wanted," "Iron Man" and "Hellboy II: The Golden Army," which have earned over one billion dollars collectively.

Variety says "The Dark Knight" is well on its way to crossing the 500-million mark in the United States, which would make the Batman film the second-highest domestic grossing movie ever, behind "Titanic," which earned $600 million.

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