The Dark Knight Officially Crosses $1 Billion Worldwide

February 21, 2009

The Dark Knight

Just days before the Oscars, The Dark Knight has finally crossed the $1 billion box office mark worldwide. To Warner Brothers, this may be even more exciting than winning any golden statues, because it is now only the fourth movie in history to ever make that much money. Titanic, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest are the only other three movies to have achieved such a tremendous success. It took a combined 31 weeks, including a January re-release, for Christopher Nolan's comic book movie to make $533 million in the US and $567 million worldwide.

While we don't normally discuss box office stats, it's staggering to look at what The Dark Knight has accomplished. It's the largest 2-D digitally remastered IMAX release in the US with $49.6 million and also the second highest grossing movie of all-time specifically in the US only with $533 million, just $67 million short of Titanic. I've said all along that it may be impossible for anything to ever top Titanic (maybe The Avengers?), but I'm not sure anyone even predicted that TDK would do this well. I know there were those of us who hoped it would, but it took a lot more than crossing our fingers to make that happen.

Find more posts in Hype, Movie News, Opinions

Discover more around the web:

  • zachy
    nice idea of using the picture above of the joker burning money... fine touch alex.
  • SlashBeast
    I always knew it would and I'm glad it did. If Titanic could do it I thought there should be no reason that The Dark Knight couldn't. Bravo to all involved.
  • woody
    James Cameron's Avatar will pass Titanic
  • I hope so! Though the problem is that Avatar isn't family friendly, it's futuristic sci-fi, whereas Titanic had every last family member seeing it multiple times.
  • thejoker
    It's no about money.... it's about sending a message....
  • Andrew
    $467 million worldwide, not $567 million
  • darrin
    I know what movie will beat titanic, Transformers 2. I know everyone is thinking that im a dumbass for saying this, but lets be serious. they have everything that works: 1) smokin hot chick 2) a good leading actor 3) a darker storyline 4) alot of epic moments 5) Giant fuckin robots
  • fanboy d
    this is most definitely newsworthy! i have that same feeling about titanic retaining the crown, it's the only thing you listed up there that isn't a sequel...
  • fanboy d
    oh, and, not every member of the family was seeing titanic...there was no 12A rating in the uk then, so it was a straight up 12, internationally it was limited compared to the dark knight, lotr et al!
  • Inflation adjusted, inflation adjusted, inflation adjusted. Vic
    I actually thought this was one of the worst movies ever made....I dont know how it made this much money.....
  • Darrin
    i actually have a friend that didnt like this film too. and he had good reason why he didnt like it.
  • andrew
    no transformers will not beat out titanic. it might beat TDK's opening weekend record but that's it. oh since i mentioned that I'm gonna say right now that Iron Man 2 will beat TDK's openind weekend record. oh also have to disagree w/ #11. i thought it was an excellent film with an exciting story and great characters. packed in all the great action/comic moments with highly insightful character development. cmon we can name plenty others that are worse (i.e. house of the dead, x3, ghost rider, any "movie" movie). i wonder how many people are gonna rant and rave in disagreement with #11. lol
  • andrew
    forgot to say...of the other 3 films to cross the mark, only LOTR:ROTK deserves the money. Pirates 2 was such a huge disappointment.
  • Tim "Cloverfield"
    Good job TDK!
  • bill
    Why did TDK not make more overseas? If you look at the top grossing movies list, most of those films made more money overseas than they did domestically. TDK was the opposite, which seems to have "hurt" its box office take.
  • #11 is NOT Just want to make that clear. Butthead. Vic
  • Glad to hear that wasn't you Vic, I've been following your comments for awhile so it seemed weird to hear you hating on TDK. Thought you would have linked to your site anyways though so I figured it was an im-poster (get it?) And kudos on the image selection for this post Alex, the burning money is perfect for a headline of this stature.
  • alexander
    i love dark knight but i will have to say no.11 said that he has a friend that didnt like the film and i think i know why. dark knight was predictable, the only reason why it was predictable because we are so familiar with the batman comics, there is no big surprises. we all knew harvey dent was going to be 2 face so we pretty much figured out that rachel would die and that boat sequence shouldn't even some suspenseful scene cause we knew they wont blow up, and that turned the film to be one of the worst films in people eyes and christopher nolan had $189 million budget and the only thing he did was flip a truck over. the reason how i know this is because i too have a friend who hated this.
  • zach
    #7 is right and the avengers will probably top all box office only if they advertise the hell outta it though o_0
  • Johnny
    # 7 is not right... transformers does not have a good lead has shia lafag who fucking sucks..
  • Movie Fan
    #7 I am not watching that heap of shit. Oh, and I know enough people who hated the first movie like me, so you're being terribly optimistic about Transformers 2. Okay, you like the film, but be realistic here, the film will do very well, I'm sure, but it won't get anywhere near Dark Knight's success you deluded fool.
  • Simplesandler
    yea, 7 is alittle off base and I think Alex's numbers are way off. TDK made way over a mere 34 Mil World Wide. I just read like 245 Mil. Hell like 75 Mil just in Canada.
  • RoarSaysAlex
    good call #7 Avengers is going to be HUGE. marketing all the hero's in there own solo films then merging them together... people are going to eat that shit up. And I'm glad this movie made this much money, it definitely deserved it. oh and #13 i don't think Iron man 2 will beat TDK's opening week. but that's just me
  • Tim "Cloverfield"
    No shit.....TDK made 40 Million in just one day outside of the US. C'MON ALEX!
  • Governor
    Those films may beat the opening weekend of The Dark Knight but won't make nearly as much money in the long run. Also, contratulations to all involved in making The Dark Knight and pushing the comic book genre into Oscar territory.
  • Katie Freight
    I brought my little brother to see The Dark Knight and it was he who was comforting me throughout Heath Ledgers fantastic performance as the Joker. I recently read on EverHype ( that gave the movie 4.5 stars and called it “Fantastic,” and I’m inclined to agree. I hope that the academy does too because the late Mr. Ledger should win the Oscar for that performance.
  • REAL6
    #7 Darran YOU DEF ARE SMOKING CRACK!!! BWhahahahah @ Transformers 2 breaking. Not even close. That whack ass movie. It will be really good visuals but the story is gonna be fucking lame. Id hope Avatar has a chance because it fits all age groups and backrounds.
  • Yeah it only took this movie twice as a release to make it up there! I don't count that as making the billion mark. And I personally hope Transformers does better then this movie!
  • Nikhil Hariharan
    blah blah blah, now lets see the list when its adjusted for inflation.
  • Rashad
    Transformers 2 opens a weekday least we forget. It's not breaking TDK's opening weekend record. Why is everybody putting stock in this Avengers movie banking TDK/Spidey type numbers at the boxoffice? lol I don't see Iron Man 2 breaking it either. It'll still make over $100 million opening weekend though. Anyway, congrats to all who made TDK a success! It's well deserving of all it's accomplishments! Such a great film!
    This put a smile on my face. TDK was amazing.
  • Conrad
    Sweet idea for the money burning scene pic....I'm with #1, good touch bud!
  • Fisherr
    TDK did more than a great or awesome job, lets say the move did an EPIC job and i believe that Heath should take an award because he really earns it no question about that...God Rest His Soul In Peace.
  • Prototype
    Box office earnings are box office earnings no matter how many times it's released. Transformers 2 has no chance of taking in more than Titanic. Iron Man 2 and The Avengers will make a lot of money, but nowhere near The Dark Knight. The Dark Knight brought in many people who typically didn't care for comic book films because it was so much more than that. Those others won't go anywhere outside the comic book film boundries. Nevertheless, good job to everyone who made this excellent genre-breaking film.
  • $48,745,440 Batman Begins Weekend $371,853,783 Batman Begins World Wide $70,502,384 Transformers Weekend $708,272,592 Transformers World Wide Now tell me how the sequel to Transformers wouldn't be just as good if not better? These are from Box Office Mojo
  • jono
    bring on batman 3 and lets sink that big ass ship
  • Joker
    The reason Transformers did well is it followed a beloved tv show with a big fan-base. While Batman Begins also with a large fan-base but they put off by the piece of crap known as "Batman and Robin"
  • Chris
    Glad to hear it made over a billion finally. It was so close on it's original run, it was frustrating that it didn't make over a billion originally. What's even more of a shame is the fact that this movie got 8 Oscar nominations, but none for Best Picture, Best Director or Best Adapted Screenplay. Shame on the Academy.
  • Jaf
    I hope I'm right in saying that a sequel is a given
  • TKaihea
    I thought Titanic had a nude scene? I don't see how every last member of the family went to see that Alex.
  • #41 - If you were alive at the time, you'd know it was the first widely accepted PG-13 half-nude scene that parent's reluctantly approved for boys and didn't mind girls seeing. This was the big deal with the movie, and again that's how it went on to make such an insane amount of money.
  • Dracus
    The Hobbit is coming. That will be the next movie to seriously challenge The Titanic.
  • Mike G.
    I think the last Harry Potter film may have a chance at beating Titanic.
  • zetsu
    fucking well done mr nolan,mr bale & mr ledger(r.i.p).the films that i think might sink titanic(again)are 1.transformers revenge of the fallen(hot babe,giant fucking robots,darker,great special effects) 2.the hobbit(jackson,del toro,aragorn,gandalf,gollum) 3.ironman 2(downey jr,black widow,the villain?lbrings us closer to the avengers)4.avatar(cameron,sci-fi =$$$$$$$$) 5.the avengers(all these heroes x-over movies leading to the best super hero team movie since x-men 2)6.the last harry potter film(potter fans will go crazy for this shit)7.spiderman 4(need to know what storyline & villans are going to be, but it will be huge) 8.a third batman film(bane breaking of the bat that would be so cool.) 9.the watchmen(would be so fucking cool if it knock titanic of the number one spot.)10.x-men origins wolverine(wolverine,deadpool,gambit & sabertooth comic fans are going to see this,millions of adults & kids who know wolverine through x-men's going to do very well for all involved.)
  • avi
    Nobody will beat Titanic because Titanic was a better movie than tdk! Titanic has the biggest audience ever and tdk just a third of it! Titanic was a family and love story and tdk just a comicbookadaptation! The strenght of tdk was Heath Ledger and his awesome performance and his sudden death,nothing more nothing less! Titanic was everything you look for in a great movie and tdk was just fun! The lotr movies where the onley one who had the chance to do it,but even they failed! Titanic will never be beat!
  • Governor
    @ 46 Are you retarded. Heath's death was a large part of the success of the film but I think that there are several other factors involved. Anti-piracy measures, enormous hype - excluding Ledger, it's the goddamn Batman vs. the Joker, it was a fantastic film. Titanic was just an average chick flick where you really only needed to see the final hour, the ship sinks, get over it.
  • I think AVENGERS will do very well, but I am not sure how much of a cross-over fanbase there is to each film. I feel that fans of IRON MAN will be the same fans of CAPTAIN AMERICA so you are not getting any bigger of an audience. I guess time will tell when IRON MAN 2 comes out and THOR and all. AVATAR I think will have trouble making money since it is in 3D. The fact is that there simply is not enough 3D screens to make a movie entirely successful off of 3D. I think it will by far be the highest grossing 3D and IMAX movie of all time, but people outside of cities well have a hard time getting to a 3D or IMAX screen. I can see it being a struggle for that movie to get to $200M even, though I have a feeling it should be able to get at least $100M.
  • avi
    @46:Heath Ledger is tdk! Without his death it would be never such a big succes. Titanic had a story that everything,betterbody knew and still people did go and go and go and go and go! So something in Titanic did touch people right in there hearts!Titanic was a bigger movie in every aspect of it and James Cameron is better moviedirector than Nolan ever would be because he had the vision that Titanic would be a awesome movie even without a dead actor on his side!
  • woody
    Alex, I think as long as Avatar gets a PG-13 rating it will make huge amounts of money because it is so groundbreaking and will be a visually amazing experience that everyone will see at least 2 times. It will be awesome!!!
  • Governor
    @ 49 Chill with the Titanic love. It was GOOD, average, but nowhere near the level of complexity or all-round execution that The Dark Knight had. It hasn't aged well at all, overly long, again, all you need to know is that the ship sinks. Heath was a PART of The Dark Knight's success but to say that it wouldn't be a success is ludicrous, there was never any doubt that it would be a huge success. Hype was being generated when the first looks were released in December, well before Ledger's death in January. To assert that Nolan is only a good filmmaker because of Ledger's death is also absurd. Nolan has been well known for his films such as Memento, The Prestige and Batman Begins. At least he doesn't act like a total douche when he accepts awards.
  • avi
    Hello govenor. Can you imagine tdk without Ledge awesome acting? If the answer is yes you win if the answer is no i made my point!
  • Governor
    @ 52 Once again, Ledger was a PART of TDK. Arguing that removing him from the film would make it suck is a poor argument because he was an essential element for the film. Remove Marlon Brando from The Godfather, remove Harrison Ford from Indiana Jones, it makes no sense. Ledger's performance would still have nowhere near as much impact without Nolan's direction and having established a world for him with the surrounding cast to bounce his energy off of. And Titanic is still poor.
  • avi
    Hello govenor. It's no weak argument but a very strong argument! With no Brando no godfather,with no Ford no Indiana Jones and exactley right!! The one needs the other and without each other no masterpieces of cinema! Tdk without Ledger is like a car with no engine,they go nowhere! The Entire succes of tdk is Ledger Joker and his death! Titanic did need one thing:cameron and his vision of a great movie!
  • Governor
    @ 53 Yet again, they were all PART of the movie, saying that removing them from the film would weaken it is ignoring the fact that they are integral to the film. Ledger needed Nolan's vision of Gotham and the other cast to give his performance impact. But to say Ledger is the sole reason behind the movie's success is ridiculous. The Dark Knight would have still been successful if he were alive. His performance was receiving buzz even before his death. As for the argument about Titanic, please drop it. Titanic would never in a million years be better than The Dark Knight. Titanic was just another very long, absolute clichéd romantic chick flick, except girlfriends went so nuts over this one that it shattered records for money brought in over an insane 9 month theatre running. This movie is the biggest moneymaker of all time? Really? Titanic was a long and boring soap opera without good acting, flat cardboard characters, and the all time cliché of a tragic love story between two star-crossed lovers. This is one of the most overrated films of all time, and you could even make a case for this one as number one worst oscar winner.
  • Governor
    Sorry, @ 54
  • Kroe
    Lets make this clear #3,#7,#11, #13,#22, #49, #54,THINK! Transformers strength mainly comes from fans not the movie itself. The Avengers is a team of heroes NOT one, and Avatar is a forgien origin film not an American proven (Spider Man a close second). On another note the Oscars didn't give hardly (if any) respect to The Dark Knight becuase Heath Ledger was not there (dead by accidental overdose not intentional suicide). They also showed almost latency for comic book movies (none have gotten many awards at all) but gave them to LOTR (which I will admit does deserve it but still gives it a run for its money). Also a major role of its success was the directing by Christopher Nolan who directed Ledger into becoming The Joker perfectly. But it wasn't just Ledger's performance that rose the movie but the other actors who played their characters perfectly and with FLAWLESS EFFECTS (you could tell what was CG in LOTR and IRON MAN as well as The Incredible Hulk but not The Dark Knight). Also the trailers were excellent without giving away the plot (which is more then it seemed). So if you want to argue talk to the record books, me, and all the other awards (including international). Got a problem with all I have said, make the movie yourself THEN talk.
  • L Lawliet
  • For everyone who is predicting what movie will break the box office record it just doesnt work that way. Through out time it has been the unforeseeable which have BROKE the record. You can go back to the dawn of cinema to test this but I shall only mention two movies... in 1977 the world was shocked and completely taken aback when Star Wars was released becoming the most successful movie of all time while barely making it to theaters opening in only 30-40 venues during the opening week... it was a true revelation when Star Wars broke the box office record. Then with the current holder Titanic... expectations were lofty but I dont think anyone on earth could have foreseen the $1.6 billion Titanic raked in CRUSHING the records... no matter what you say it was completely unpredictable that the film would be THAT dominating in the box office and even come CLOSE to breaking the box office record before release. Now... as I said this idea refers strictly to the record BREAKERS not the runners up that had huge success(TDK, Pirates, and LOTR) those movies never broke the record. Predicting Avatar... Avengers... or anything will break Titanic is foolish because when the record is broke it will be as unexpected as Titanic and Star Wars and hopefully it will be a movie that will revolutionize film just as those two classics did.
  • wm
    I would love to see Watchmen beat this
  • avi
    Hello nickpapa: i think your totaly right with your argument but to beat Titanic will be very very difficult!
  • SlashBeast
    I don't think Watchmen has any chance of making as much money as those 4 movies. It's almost 3 hours long, rated R and the characters are nowhere near as well known as Batman and Spiderman. Titanic is going to be extremely difficult to beat even if I don't think it's deserving of the money. Regardless, once again, congrats to Nolan and co. for crafting this masterpiece.
  • Watchmen won't break into the Billion dollar club. Would be nice if it did, but like others have pointed out its rated R. Might with DVD sales though...




Alex's Top 10 - 2016
1. La La Land
2. Paterson
3. Arrival
4. Captain Fantastic
5. 20th Cent. Women
6. Pete's Dragon
7. Jackie
8. Kubo & Two Strings
9. Everybody Wants
10. Wilderpeople
Click Here for Thoughts

Jeremy's Top 10 - 2016
1. Moonlight
2. The Handmaiden
3. High-Rise
4. Elle
5. Arrival
6. Kubo & Two Strings
7. 13th
8. Jackie
9. Toni Erdmann
10. The Witch
Click Here for Thoughts


Subscribe to our feed or daily newsletter:
Follow Alex's main profile on twitter:
For the news posts only, follow this acct:
Add our feed to your Feedly: follow us in feedly