"The Dark Knight Rises"sold $30.6 million worth of tickets from screenings at or soon after midnight Friday, the second-highest late-night opening of all time. The ticket sales figures came in after the tragic shooting at a movie theater in Colorado.
The film played at 3,825 theaters, of which 330 had premium-priced Imax screens.
Warner Bros.' third and final Batman movie from director Christopher Nolan came in behind only last year's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2," also from Burbank-based Warner, which debuted to a staggering $43.5 million.
Among the midnight debuts that "The Dark Knight Rises" slightly surpassed were the last two "Twilight" movies, "Breaking Dawn Part 1" and "Eclipse," which took in $30.25 million and $30 million, respectively, in the U.S. and Canada.
In May, "The Avengers" took in a comparatively modest $18.7 from midnight shows before going on to score the highest opening weekend of all time with $207.4 million in ticket sales.
"The Dark Knight Rises" was on track to rival and potentially beat "The Avengers" by the end of its first weekend. However, it now remains to be seen whether news of the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting where 12 people were killed and dozens more injured will keep audiences away from theaters and dampen ticket sales this weekend and beyond.
The huge start for "The Dark Knight Rises" signals that fans across the country were extremely excited to see the picture as soon as possible, even if it meant waiting until nearly 3 a.m. for the 2 hour and 40 minute picture to end.
In some locations, fans sat down for Batman marathons that started in the early evening with showings of Nolan's"Batman Begins"and "The Dark Knight" before the start of "The Dark Knight Rises" at 12 a.m.
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