"The Dark Knight" Shatters Single-Day Box-Office Record

Another day, another record down. The Dark Knight broke the record for the biggest single-day box-office gross, with $66.4 million on Friday alone. The previous record holder was Spider-Man 3, currently the opening-weekend champ as well, with $59.8 million its opening day last year. But, as Nikki Finke notes, the real test of whether the Dark Knight will beat Spidey for the weekend is today.

Deadline Hollywood Daily: The question is whether Dark Knight goes up or down — and by how much either way. The Saturday number to beat is Spider-Man 3‘s $51.3M, which was down 14% from its Friday number. The FSS number to best is Spider-Man 3‘s $151M, including a take of $39.9M on Sunday.

Interestingly, rival studios are hesitant to even venture a guess about the latest Batman instalment ‘s 3-day weekend total. “Saturday business will tell the tale of where this is headed,” one rival studio bigwig stressed to me. Said another, “The hard thing about this movie is you don’t know if all the shows tonight are already sold out, so their number might not move much.” [as of Friday night, they weren’t]

Here is the way to think about Saturday and the weekend: if you start with $66.4M Friday and back out the $18.5M of midnight shows, then Dark Knight‘s comparable starting point is $47.5M. So if the pic is down 5% from there on Saturday, it would be $45M. If it were 10%, it would be $52M (what it would take to best Spidey 3‘s Saturday record). That is the most likely range for today. But those would be announced as $45M, down 30%, or $52M, down 20%, as they will be compared to the Friday number which included midnight shows. Sunday is likely to drop somewhere between 15%-20% from there. So Dark Knight needs to be $47M-$48M today to set itself up to best the weekend record.

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