Beats 'Revenge of the Sith' with $18.5 million

Warner Bros.’ “The Dark Knight” grossed the most ever for midnight shows, racking up an estimated $18.5 million.

The follow-up to 2005’s “Batman Begins” outstripped the previous midnight record set by Fox’s “Star Wars, Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith” which grossed $16.9 million from 3,663 venues. “Sith” went on to make $50 million in its first day, which was a Thursday. The highest single day opening record is currently held by Sony’s “Spider-man 3″ which made $59.8 million.

“Dark Knight” unspooled in a record number of sites – 4,366 – outstripping the wide bow of Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” which touted a theater count of 4,362.

Warner Bros. reported that the $18.5 million did not include 3:00 A.M. and 6:00 A.M.

“Batman Begins” opened on June 15, 2005, a Wednesday, earning $15.1 million in its first day. Both “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight” are directed by Christopher Nolan.

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