The Dark Knight Rises earned a sizeable $160.9 million over the weekend, making it the biggest 2-D opening ever, but falling slightly below expectations following the mass shooting at a Colorado screening of the Batman film.
Warner Bros. said that the final installment of director Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy earned $160,887,295.
The debut makes The Dark Knight Rises the biggest 2-D opening ever ahead of its 2008 predecessor, The Dark Knight. It also gives the movie the third-largest opening after the 3-D films The Avengers with $207.4 million and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 with $169.2 million.
Despite the impressive $160.9 million opening, The Dark Knight Rises fell somewhat below box office expectations going into the weekend, which ranged from $170 million to $200 million.
"Clearly, The Dark Knight Rises was on everyone's minds," said Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst for Hollywood.com who specializes in box office. "I think the American public showed they were not going to be sacred away from the movie theater by the actions of a lunatic."
Dergarabedian called the film's opening "extremely impressive given the tragic events that unfolded on Friday."
Dark Knight Rises earned $19.1 million alone from IMAX screenings. Tickets for 3-D and IMAX films cost a few more dollars than 2-D screenings, netting extra cash at the box office. Movies released in 3-D typically earn under half of their income in 3-D screenings, sometimes as little as a third.
Sony, Fox, Disney, Paramount, Universal and Lionsgate joined Dark Knight Rises distributor Warner Bros. in publicly withholding their usual revenue reports this weekend until Monday. They did so out of respect for the victims and their families after the mass shooting that left 12 dead and 58 wounded at a midnight screening of the movie in Aurora, Colo.
Following behind Dark Knight Rises in the No. 2 spot was Ice Age: Continental Drift, the animated Fox film which dropped 56 percent in its second weekend to $20.4 million, and the Sony superhero reboot The Amazing Spider-Man, which earned $10.9 million during its third weekend at the box office, in the No. 3 position.
The top five movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, as compiled Monday by Hollywood.com are: