'Dark Knight Rises' Tops Weekend Box Office

The Dark Knight Rises was No. 1 at the box office over the weekend. The debut of the latest Batman film was in doubt after the deadly shooting at a midnight showing in Aurora, Colo.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a box office high.

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INSKEEP: The new Batman movie "Dark Knight Rises" set a box office record over the past weekend. There were questions, of course, about how much money it would bring in after Friday's shooting in Colorado in a theater where the movie was showing.

NPR's Mandalit del Barco has more.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: Despite the tragedy that surrounded its opening night, "The Dark Knight Rises" turned out to be the weekend's number one movie at the box office.

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BARCO: Out of respect for the victims of the Colorado shooting, movie distributors made the unprecedented move of withholding their weekend revenue reports. But late yesterday, Warner Brothers announced their final installment of the new Batman trilogy earned nearly $161 million. That makes it the biggest non-3D movie opening ever - even more than its 2008 predecessor, "The Dark Knight."

JEFF BOCK: That is also the third-best debut of all time, cinematically.

BARCO: Box office analyst Jeff Bock says "The Dark Knight Rises" falls behind only "The Avengers" and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Part 2," 3D movies whose tickets cost $4 more than the Batman movie. Bock says the numbers show audiences did not stay away from going to the movie last weekend, as some had predicted, because of the violence in Colorado.

BOCK: This was something pretty special. I mean, this was arguable the most anticipated three-quel since "Return of the Jedi." People really wanted to see the close of this trilogy. And at the beginning of the summer, "The Avengers" and "The Dark Knight Rises" were on everybody's must-see list.

BARCO: The debut earned less than what had been expected for "The Dark Knight Rises," up to $200 million dollars. But if you add in overseas profits, the movie brought in more than $248 million at the box office.

Mandalit del Barco, NPR News.

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