On Sunday, Warner Bros. Pictures estimated that The Dark Knight had earned $155.3 million its opening weekend. Turns out, that was low! The final figures show that Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins follow-up took in a record-breaking $158.4 million over the Friday-to-Sunday frame, easily beating the $151.1 million opening of Spider-Man 3 in May 2007.
One of the big reasons for the lower estimate was that the studio expected the movie to do about $39.4 million on Sunday but in actuality it received $43.6 million, again beating Spider-Man 3‘s previous record of $39.9 million for the day.
The film earned a record-breaking $67.8 million on Friday alone. Of that, $18.5 million came from midnight shows, besting the previous midnight record set by Fox’s 2005 Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, which grossed $16.9 million from 3,663 theaters.
It also set the record for an IMAX opener, earning $6.2 million from 94 IMAX theaters.
The studio estimates that The Dark Knight, which opened in a record 4,366 theaters, could gross as much as $220 million in its first week. That’s more than the entire domestic gross of Nolan’s Batman Begins, which earned $205 million domestically and $166 million overseas.
The big opening allowed the box office to take in a record $250 million in ticket sales total. The previous weekend record was $218.4 million, set in July 2007 when Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest opened to $135.6 million.