‘The Mummy’ dethrones ‘Knight’

Universal sequel on top Friday with $15.3 million

Universal’s “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” bowed to an estimated $15.3 million on Friday, putting it ahead of the estimated $12.6 million earned by Warner Bros.’ “The Dark Knight.”

Playing in 3,759 locales, “Dragon Emperor’s” haul marks the second highest opening day for the “Mummy” franchise behind 2001’s “The Mummy Returns” which posted $23.4 million in its first day and $68.1 million over three-days.

“Dark Knight,” however, remains a formidable opponent. Batman sequel declined just 46% in its third Friday on 4,266 for a cume of $363.7 million.

Sony’s Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly comedy, “Step Brothers” fell 57% from its opening day a week ago, generating $5 million in third place from 3,094. Pic’s cume through eight days currently stands at $51.7 million.

In fourth place, U’s ABBA tuner “Mamma Mia!” dipped only 31% from its second Friday, taking in $3.9 million from 3,060 sites for a total domestic B.O. of $78.8 million.

Disney’s Kevin Costner political comedy, “Swing Vote,” the weekend’s only other wide entry, opened in fifth with $1.95 million on 2,213.

Among limited fare, Miramax’s second Friday for “Brideshead Revisted” surged 222% after expanding its theater count from 33 to 189. The period piece reeled in $297,000 yesterday bringing its eight-day cume to $831,500.

Lionsgate’s horror-thriller opener “Midnight Meat Train” about a photographer’s obsession with a subway killer took in $9,000 from 102 theaters while Sony Classics’ Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner “Frozen River” opened to $18,000 at seven New York and Los Angeles locations.