I had expected The Dark Knight to do very well in its opening weekend, roughly matching Iron Man’s opening weekend box office of $100+ million. Well, I was wrong: Nikki Finke of Deadline Hollywood Daily reports the fantastic news…

‘DARK KNIGHT’ BREAKS EIGHT RECORDS; $155.3M Weekend

I’ve just been told by unofficial sources that Warner Bros’ The Dark Knight is playing to packed Sunday performances for over $40M and maybe as high as $43M.

That would mean a 9th record for the latest Batman installment since Spider-Man 3‘s Sunday take in 2007 was a record-setting $39.9M. It’s also now abundantly clear that the Warner Bros caped crusader will crush the old 3-day weekend non-holiday record set by Spidey 3 last year.

So rival studios were wrong to question whether Warner Bros’ Sunday numbers were too aggressive! Also, Dark Knight should break its 9th record by beating the all-time weekly tally. Meanwhile, in its first six days, DK will have grossed more than the entire run of Batman Begins.

Media By Numbers’ OFFICIAL DARK KNIGHT RECORDS SO FAR (in order of occurrence):

1 LARGEST NUMBER OF OPENING THEATRES WITH 4,366 (MORE THAN THE 4,362 DEBUT THEATRES OF PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END IN 2007).

2 – BIGGEST MIDNIGHT PREVIEW GROSS WITH $18.489 MILLION IN 3,040 THEATRES (BEATS STAR WARS EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH AND ITS $16.9 MILLION IN 2,915 THEATRES IN 2005).

3 – BIGGEST IMAX MIDNIGHT PREVIEWS SET AN NEW RECORD WITH $640,000 (INCLUDED IN THE $18.489 MILLION PREVIEW NUMBER).

4 – BIGGEST SINGLE-DAY GROSS IN BOX-OFFICE HISTORY WITH $67.850 MILLION (BESTS THE $59,841,919 SET BY SPIDER-MAN 3 IN 2007).

5 – BIGGEST OPENING WEEKEND GROSS IN BOX OFFICE HISTORY WITH $155.340 MILLION (BESTS THE $151,116 MILLION SET BY SPIDER-MAN 3 IN 2007).

6 – BIGGEST OPENING WEEKEND GROSS FOR AN IMAX RELEASE IN BOX OFFICE HISTORY WITH $6,214,061 MILLION IN 94 THEATRES WITH $66,107 PER THEATRE. (BESTS THE $4.7 MILLION SET BY SPIDER-MAN 3 IN 2007.) IMAX SHOWING AT FULL CAPACITY $1.9 MILLION ON SATURDAY ALONE.

7 – BIGGEST OPENING WEEKEND OF 2008 WITH $151.340 (BEATS INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL‘S $101.137 MILLION FROM MAY 23-25, 2008)

8 – BIGGEST JULY OPENING EVER (BEATS PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST‘S $135,634,554 ON JULY 7, 2006).

9. BIGGEST OPENING SUNDAY BOX OFFICE: $40-43 MILLION