Box Office Report: More Moviegoers Return to Multiplex, But Snub 'The Watch,' 'Step Up 4'

8:47 AM PST 07/29/2012 by Pamela McClintock

UPDATED: "The Dark Knight Rises" is up nearly 40 percent on Saturday to easily win weekend with $64.1 million, hits $537.3 million worldwide; "The Watch" bombs with $13 million, "Step Up Revolution" opens to a meek $11.8 million.

There were signs of resiliency at the domestic box office on Saturday as moviegoers returned to the multiplex in notable numbers following last week's theater shooting and Friday's opening Olympics ceremony -- but there was no rescuing new entries The Watch and Step Up Revolution.

The Dark Knight Rises easily won the weekend race, grossing $64.1 million for a weighty 10-day domestic cume of $289.1 million. Traffic was up measurably on Saturday, helping to narrow the film's week-over-week decline. And worldwide, the tentpole's cume through Sunday is a stellar $537.7 million.

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From 20th Century Fox, The Watch's meager $13.5 million debut is another blow for Ben Stiller, who stars opposite Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade in the R-rated sci-fi comedy, about a group of neighborhood watch volunteers who stop an alien attack. Earlier this year, Stiller's ensemble crime caper Tower Heist also disappointed.

The Watch, costing $68 million to produce before marketing costs, did see a 5 percent jump on Saturday. The comedy skewed male (60 percent), while nearly 60 percent of the audience was over the age of 25.

Summit Entertainment's Step Up 4 opened to $11.8 million, well short of the previous three films in the dance franchise pic (the last opened to $15.8 million). Summit took over the franchise from Disney. Step Up 4, released in 3D, received a B+ CinemaScore.

Costing $33 million to produce before marketing costs, Step Up 4 was fueled by younger girls. Females made up 64 percent of those buying tickets, while 71 percent of the audience was under the age of 24.

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A number of holdovers picked up on Saturday, similar to Dark Knight Rises. Fox's Ice Age: Continental Drift saw a 32 percent jump to finish the weekend with $13.3 million and coming in No. 3 ahead of The Watch and Step Up 4, which placed No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. Ice Age 4's domestic cume is $114.8 million.

Ted, from Universal, was up 40 percent as it neared the $200 million mark domestically. The hit comedy has now grossed $193.7 million domestically.

While Christopher Nolan's final Batman pic is pacing behind The Dark Knight, Saturday's 39 percent jump was welcome news for Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures.

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Dark Knight Rises fell 60 percent in its second weekend, compared to 53 percent for Dark Knight, which grossed $75 million in its second weekend.

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