Why yes, that is a lot of money that the Joker has to burn. A fairly gloating press release just hit my inbox.

BURBANK, CA, July 18, 2008--Just past the stroke of midnight, Warner Bros. Pictures' The Dark Knight broke the record for a 12:01 a.m. film opening, earning an unprecedented $18,489,000 at the box office, it was announced today by Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures. That total does not include the grosses from the subsequent 3:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. showings.

The 12:01 a.m. grosses soared past the previous record of $16.9 million, which had been held by Star Wars: Episode III--Revenge of the Sith since May of 2005.

I'd blogged a bit about The Dark Knight's midnight screenings earlier, but fuck, that's a lot of money in a single night. Looks like it's going to keep up over the weekend, too. I'd recommend seeing it in Imax if you're gonna go, but the downsides to that are (A) The only Imax theater that's showing it around here is the one at the fantastically creepy Bridgeport Village in Tigard (a place that always makes me feel like I'm in The Prisoner), and (B) Online ticket sales for that theater are already selling out--Sunday's open, but if you want to see it in Imax tonight or tomorrow, you'll either have to stay up pretty late or get up pretty early.