On Friday, The Dark Knight Rises became the third movie to pass the $400 million mark at the U.S. box office this year. The Avengers is the number one movie of the year so far with $617 million at the U.S. box office, while the Hunger Games is the number two movie of the year so far with $407 million at the U.S. box office.
While The Avengers will almost certainly hold onto its top sport and finish the year as the #1 movie of 2012, The Hunger Games days are numbered. In fact, The Dark Knight Rises should surpass The Hunger Games sometime this weekend to move into the second spot at the U.S. box office for the year.
According to Deadline, the early estimates for the Friday domestic box office for The Dark Knight Rises are $3.1 million. Since The Dark Knight Rises was sitting at $398.8 million as of Thursday, the film should currently be at $401.9 million. Deadline is also estimating a $10.4 million take for The Dark Knight Rises for the weekend, which if those numbers are accurate would put the film at $409.2 million by Monday, ahead of The Hunger Games.
Whether The Dark Knight Rises has enough steam left to reach the $500 million mark is uncertain. At it’s current box office rate, it looks more likely to finish in the $450 million range. However, even at $450 million, The Dark Knight Rises should finish the year as the second highest grossing movie of 2012, even though The Hobbit could provide a challenge later in the year.