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‘Dark Knight’ soars over ‘Brothers’

Fox's 'X-Files' sequel places fourth behind 'Mia'

Warner Bros.’ “The Dark Knight” continued to dominate the box office in its second Friday, taking in $23.1 million from 4,366 theaters and propelling its domestic cume toward $300 million.

Repping a 66% decline from its opening day, the current B.O. for the Christopher Nolan-directed superhero pic currently stands at $261.7 million. By Sunday, it’s possible that “Dark Knight” might break the record for a pic’s second weekend take. Among the highest grossing sophomore frames, DreamWorks’ “Shrek 2” holds the title with $72.2 million.

In second place yesterday, Sony’s R-rated laffer “Step Brothers” headlining Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly reaped $11.7 million from 3,094 venues. The pic’s first day ranks as the second best among Ferrell’s collaboration with producer-helmer Adam McKay, ranking behind the first Friday of 2006’s “Talladega Nights” ($18.1 million) and ahead of 2004’s “Anchorman” ($10.8 million).

Universal’s “Mamma Mia!” took a 44% dip from its opening a week ago, ringing up $5.5 million off 2,990 for third place. Its eight-day cume currently stands at $50.3 million.

“Dark Knight’s” continuing success stole some male action away from Fox’s weekend entry “The X-Files: I Want to Believe” which placed fourth yesterday with $4 million from 3,185. While the long-awaited follow-up to the 1998 pic “X-Files: Fight the Future” performed at the lower end of expectations, pic cost under $30 million to produce, minimizing the studio’s risk.

“Fight the Future” carried a production budget of $66 million and boasted an opening day of $12.2 million and a three-day take of $30.1 million.

The New Line 3-D feature “Journey to the Center of the Earth” distributed by Warner Bros. clocked in fifth with $2.7 million from 2,688, a 25% decline, bringing its 15-day cume to $53.5 million.

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