'Dark Knight' exceeds $400 million

Passes mark on its 18th day of release

Maybe it should have starred The Flash.

Warner Bros.' Batman sequel "The Dark Knight" sprinted past $400 million on its 18th day of release Monday, streaking past a 43-day mark set by 2004's "Shrek 2."

The DreamWorks Animation sequel eventually rang up $436.7 million domestically. "Dark Knight" is expected to top $500 million.

Only seven previous theatrical releases fetched more than $400 million from in U.S. and Canadian coin.

The list is famously topped by 1998 release "Titanic," with $600.8 million. Another classic title sits second -- 1977's "Star Wars," with $461 million. "Shrek 2" is third.

"Dark Knight" rang up $6.3 million Monday, adding to a previous domestic tally of $393.8 million.

"The continued repeat business and the incredible movie itself just speak volumes," Warners exec vp Jeffrey Goldstein said Tuesday.

Internationally, "Dark Knight" has grossed more than $211.3 million through Monday, making for a worldwide tally of $611.3 million. "Titanic" also holds the record for worldwide boxoffice, with a seemingly unapproachable $1.84 billion.

"Dark Knight" has yet to bow in at least six major foreign territories. The Christian Bale starrer is set to unspool in Japan and Korea over the coming frame.

"It's been incredible," Warners international distribution president Veronika Kwan-Rubinek said. "We're extremely pleased with the results to date and look forward to a continued strong run through September."

"Dark Knight" has topped the domestic charts for the past three weekends, outmuscling even Universal's "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" last session. The Batman sequel is expected finally to settle for second place over the coming frame, with Sony's R-rated comedy "Pineapple Express" widely projected to post a No. 1 opening weekend after unspooling two days early Wednesday to maximize late-summer playtime.