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"The Dark Knight" Crushes Box Office Records

As expected, The Dark Knight has begun its reign of terror on box office records, bringing in an estimated $18.5 million from midnight screenings last night, a record previously held by "Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith," which grossed $16.9 million from just under 3,700 venues.

The highest single-day opening record currently belongs to "Spider-Man 3," which disappointed audiences but still made $59.8 million.

"The Dark Knight" opened to 3,000 venues last night and expanded to 4,366 today, beating the record previously held by "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" with 4,362. The above figures do not include revenue from the 3:00 AM and 6:00 AM screenings held at some theaters. The film also shattered IMAX midnight preview records, bringing in a reported $640,000 (the figure is included in the total gross).

Stay tuned for more "The Dark Knight" box office information as the weekend continues. Will it crush "Spider-Man 3"'s numbers and restore glory to the superhero film sequel?

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