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Latest Batman movie has third-largest opening ever

LOS ANGELES--The most recent Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises” had the third-largest opening weekend ever, despite the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado, according to figures released Monday.

Twelve people were killed and 58 wounded in the hail of gunfire in Friday's Colorado massacre, in which an attacker gunned down film-goers at a packed premier of “The Dark Knight Rises.”

This might have proved a marketing nightmare for the studio, and Warner Brothers, initially did not publish weekend box office figures — a move swiftly followed by rivals, wary of offending the public.

But when figures were released on Monday they showed that “The Dark Knight Rises” — directed by Christopher Nolan — had earned US$160.9 million in its first three days, according to Exhibitor Relations, which tracks ticket sales.

The last chapter in the Batman trilogy comes behind opening weekend grosses for “The Avengers” (US$207.4 million) and the final Harry Potter movie, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” (US$169.2 million).

However both “The Avengers” and “Harry Potter” were 3D movies, meaning the ticket prices were higher.

“The Dark Knight Rises” had the most profitable weekend of any 2D film, earning more than the US$158.4 million raked in by its 2008 trilogy predecessor, “The Dark Knight,” according to industry figures.

The 3D computer-animated adventure comedy “Ice Age: Continental Drift” was second in box-office receipts, raking in US$20.4 million dollars in its second week on the big screen, according to Exhibitor Relations.

Third was “The Amazing Spider-Man,” starring Andrew Garfield, with US$10.8 million, followed by cheeky teddy bear comedy “Ted” with US$10 million, and Pixar studio's 3-D animated fairytale “Brave” with US$6 million.

“Magic Mike,” starring Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey as male strippers, was in sixth with US$4.3 million, while Oliver Stone's drama “Savages” slipped to seventh, with US$3.4 million in takings.

Tyler Perry's “Madea's Witness Protection” took eighth slot with US$2.25 million in sales and indie coming-of-age movie “Moonrise Kingdom,” starring Bill Murray, Bruce Willis and Edward Norton, was ninth with US$1.8 million.

Rounding off the top ten was the latest Woody Allen comedy, “To Rome With Love,” starring Allen, Ellen Page and Alec Baldwin, with US$1.4 million, according to Exhibitor Relations.

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