Batman claims a new notch on his belt, toppling Shrek 2's box-office record

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated August 05, 2008 03:05 PM
Credit: Stephen Vaughan/Warner Bros

Chalk up another record for The Dark Knight. Having hit the $300-million mark after only 10 days of release, the Batman adventure can now claim title to $400 million at the box office in only 18 days – the fastest pace ever, Warner Bros. announced Tuesday.

Jeff Goldstein, general sales manager for the film company, said the movie, starring Christian Bale and the late Heath Ledger, sliced in half the amount of time it took the previous record to hit $400 million. Shrek 2, in 2004, crossed that line after 43 days in release, the Associated Press reports.

In terms of overall performance, The Dark Knight already ranks No. 8 among all-time box-office hits, though it is expected to climb to No. 7 on Tuesday, bypassing the original 2002 Spider-Man, which made $403.7 million.

The Dark Knight also holds the distinction of being the top-grossing comic-book adaptation in history. Still ahead of it in terms of overall U.S. box-office performance are (in ascending order): Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, $423.4 million; Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, $431.1 million; E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial, $435 million; Shrek 2, $437.2 million; Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, $461 million; and Titanic, $601 million.