In a weekend glutted with new releases battling the aftershocks of The Dark Knight earthquake, Tropic Thunder debuted below expectations -- but well enough to steal the top spot from The Dark Knight in that film's 5th weekend. The R-rated comedy's $26 million weekend and $37 million 5-day was roughly on par with Pineapple Express' performance the previous weekend, but I think Tropic Thunder was predicted to have broader appeal. In retrospect, the advertising may have emphasized the film's inside-baseball aspects a bit too much.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars did okay in third place with $15 million -- weak for a purported Star Wars film, but not bad for a Saturday morning cartoon. The woeful Mirrors took in a relatively paltry $11 million, a wuss-out signaled by the 11th hour press screening cancellation. Contrast The Strangers, the summer's other major R-rated, non-Shyamalan horror film, which debuted to almost twice as much despite not having as nifty a high-concept.

The Dark Knight, meanwhile, continues to edge toward $500 million. Its 5-weekend total stands at $471 million, enough to top Star Wars' unadjusted numbers. Titanic still looks out of reach, even setting aside the apples-and-oranges aspect of comparing a 1997 release to a 2008 one.

Pineapple Express fell 57% in its second weekend, putting $100 million out of reach. On the other hand, Mamma Mia! continues to be popular, suffering drops of around 20% each week thanks to good word-of-mouth and likely repeat viewings.

Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona came in at #10, with $3.7 million on 700 screens, Woody's second-best opening ever. Two spots below that, the poorly-reviewed 3-D spectacle Fly Me to the Moon made $2 million on 450 screens.

The full estimates after the jump.

1 - Tropic Thunder (Paramount) - $26.00 ($7,833) - $37.03
2 - The Dark Knight (Warner Bros.) - $16.79 ($4,676) - $471.49
3 - Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Warner Bros.) - $15.51 ($4,491) - $15.51
4 - Mirrors (Fox) - $11.13 ($4,176) - $11.13
5 - Pineapple Express (Columbia) - $10.00 ($3,255) - $62.93
6 - The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (Universal) - $8.61 ($2,559) - $86.65
7 - Mamma Mia! (Universal) - $6.50 ($2,345) - $116.42
8 - The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (Warner Bros.) - $5.93 ($2,184) - $32.15
9 - Step Brothers (Columbia) - $5.00 ($1,888) - $90.89
10 - Vicky Cristina Barcelona (MGM) - $3.71 ($5,361) - $3.71

Next weekend is the official start of the post-summer lull -- we'll see The Longshots, Death Race, The House Bunny and The Rocker (on Wednesday), as well as Hamlet 2 in limited release. Expect The Rocker and Death Race to battle for the weekend win.