Record-Setting $18.5 Million Bow for Dark Knight

Heath Ledger as the Joker (sitting) and Christian Bale as Batman, in The Dark Knight

Stephen Vaughan/Warner Bros

07/18/2008 AT 4:20 PM ET

Buoyed by excellent reviews and exceptional word of mouth, the Batman adventure The Dark Knight has set a box office record for any midnight debut, according to the tracking service Media By Numbers.

Starring Christian Bale and the late Heath Ledger, the movie made $18.5 million on Friday from its showings in 3,040 theaters, topping the $16.9 million made by the debut of 2005’s Star Wars Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith, the Associated Press reports.

The Dark Knight figure excludes the box office from any of its 3 a.m. or 6 a.m. screenings. Some industry observers foresee the movie making as much as $130 million this weekend – another record.
Stephen M. Silverman


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