FRIDAY 7AM: Warner Bros is poised to make Hollywood history this weekend. That’s because its opening comic book caper The Dark Knight is already on its way to breaking records left and right today even as it’s still sparking a ticket-selling frenzy across North America. I’ve just been told that the latest Batman installment’s $18.5 million midnight shows — technically, 12:01AM — in 3,040 theaters broke the record of $16.9 million set by 2005’s  Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith then playing in 2,915 venues. According to Media By Numbers, Imax showings of also set a record with $640K in the midnight previews. (This figure is included in the studio’s overall.) Across North America, theater managers in small towns to big cities are working feverishly to squeeze in more screenings and satisfy voracious moviegoer demand. News reports were quoting fans as saying they’d pay $100 per ticket just to see the PG-13 pic. (Photo by Jim Stevenson of audiences arriving at Hollywood’s Arclight Theater for the first showing of Dark Knight.)

Fandango.com, the largest online ticketseller, has just announced that Dark Knight has jumped to No. 2 on its Top 10 List of Advance Ticket-Sellers. It’s No. 4 on MovieTickets.com’s list. Fandango.com says it’s now selling an average of nearly 10 tickets per second for the pic during peak periods, while MovieTickets.com cites more than 1,300 performances nationwide that are still sold out, including more than 220 in New York City and Los Angeles alone. These are extraordinary metrics underscoring Hollywood’s belief that not just the individual but also the overall 3-day non-holiday box office record is going down this weekend. Meanwhile, see the Batman franchise numbers here.

Top 10 Advance Ticket-Sellers list from Fandango.com:
1. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
2. The Dark Knight (2008)
3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
4. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
5. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)
6. Hannah Montana 3D (2008)
7. Lord Of The Rings: Return of the King (2003)
8. Spider-Man 3 (2007)
9. Sex And The City (2008)
10. The Passion Of The Christ (2004)

MovieTickets.com’s Top Pre-Sale List Of All Times:
1. Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
3. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
4. The Dark Knight

  1. ‘Dark Knight’ Speeding Towards Records (continuously updated…)
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