THE DARK KNIGHT has retained its grip over the U.S. box office, taking in a colossal $43.8 million (£21.9 million) in its third week of release.
The Batman Begins sequel has now earned nearly $400 million (£200 million) in America alone, and boasts a worldwide gross of $520 million (£260 million).
New release The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor came close to toppling it from the top spot; the Brendan Fraser-starring adventure taking $42.5 million (£21.25 million).
Step Brothers secured the number three spot, after banking $16.3 million (£8.15 million); followed by Mamma Mia with $13.1 million (£6.55 million) and Journey to the Center of the Earth with $6.9 million (£3.45 million). Kevin Costner's political comedy Swing Vote struggled into sixth place, with disappointing takings of $6.3 million (£3.15 million).