The Dark Knight Triumphant: Bruce Wayne Rolls In The Big Bucks

This summer, the billionaires are making all the money. The Christopher Nolan-directed sequel "The Dark Knight" first set a new record for a midnight opening, with $18.5 million dollars. Then the film set a new record for a Friday opening day with a whopping $66.4 million dollars.

When would the madness stop? Not soon, according to Box Office Mojo, which lists the domestic box office total for "The Dark Knight" at just over $155 million dollars, at an average of $35,579 per screen and opening in 4,366 theatres. When you add in an estimated $40 million dollars of international ticket sales, that puts the grand total at $195 million dollars.

Let's put that in perspective: "The Dark Knight" is now the sixteenth biggest comic book adaptation (since 1978) and the 15th largest superhero adaptation (again since 1978). This summer's current ruler of box office tallies is "Iron Man," with $314 million ... and "The Dark Knight" is almost two thirds of the way there. The highest grossing Batman film ever, the 1989 original with Michael Keaton, grossed a grand total of $251,188,924 ... and this film could reach that plateau next weekend.

"The Dark Knight" is also already the sixth highest grossing film of 2008. "The Incredible Hulk" has been in theatres since June 13th, and it's only made $131 million. Mark Millar's "Wanted?" It opened June 27th and has made $123 million. The Guillermo del Toro/Mike Mignola collaboration "Hellboy 2: The Golden Army?" $56 million since July 11th. In three days, a character that was made when before the creators of some of the other summer blockbusters were born has topped them all.

This film had a budget of $180 million dollars -- check, paid for, done. CBR fans mostly guessed it right, as 47 percent believed the film would top $140 million for its opening weekend.

For all of CBR's coverage of the Bat-mania around "The Dark Knight," please visit our news index of stories about the film.

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