‘Batman’, ‘Abba’ assault box-office records

July 21st, 2008 - 9:37 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Christian Bale
New York, July 21 (DPA) “Batman” sequel “The Dark Knight” and pop musical adaptation “Mama Mia” opened over the weekend to set very different box-office records, according to preliminary studio estimates. Starring Christian Bale for a second time as billionaire Bruce Wayne and his superhero alter ego, “The Dark Knight” lit up cinema cash registers with $155.3 million in three-day weekend ticket sales, shattering the $151.1 million Friday-Sunday record of “Spider-Man 3″ set in 2007.

“The Dark Knight” was fueled by excellent critical reactions particularly for a comic-book adaptation, building on expectations from 2005’s “Batman Begins”, which successfully relaunched the Batman movie franchise, and curiosity for the last performance of co-star Heath Ledger. The Australian native, who plays the villainous Joker opposite Bale, died in January of a drug overdose.

Meanwhile, “Mama Mia”, a screen adaptation of the Broadway show featuring songs from Swedish 1970s pop icons Abba, set a record for a movie musical with a three-day gross of $27.6 million. It stars Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan in the story of a young woman’s wedding and her mother’s ex-lovers.

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