To quote the Joker, “It’s not about money. It’s about sending a message.”

Consider the message received, loud and clear.

The Dark Knight has officially dethroned former champ Spider-Man 3 to become the movie with the highest-grossing first-day premiere. Led by fan fervor, strong buzz, impeccable reviews from both fans and critics alike, and a all that talk, talk, talk, about the late Heath Ledger’s boundary-shattering performance as the Joker, Dark Knight managed to rake in $66.4 million in just its first day! (More than twice what The Love Guru has made all Summer.)

And the record breaking didn’t stop there. Dark Knight also set a new record for the biggest ever midnight bow, taking in $18.5 million from 3,040 screens, a higher gross than Revenge of Sith’s $16.9 million midnight debut on 2,915 screens, back in 2005. Not even factored into TDK‘s midnight figures are the 1 am, 3 am and 6 am showings of the film, which is running 24/7 throughout the weekend in many theaters. (I went to a 3AM show myself and I can tell you, it was a packed house.)

All signs seem to indicate that Dark Knight will ultimately top Spider-Man 3‘s $151.1 million opening weekend to set a new record in that category as well. (Guess that puts to rest any and all talk about whether the expectations for the film were too high.) Of course, the great news has made the suits over at Warner Bros. giddy with green fever.

“We’re very proud of the film,” [said Dan Fellman, Warner Bros. head of distribution,] “It’s the magic of the movie business, how one film just stands out above the others.”

No magic involved, Danny, just the end result of having great source material to work with, phenomenal actors to play the parts, a great script, big enough budget, and all of it placed into the hands of a competent and accomplished director like Chris Nolan, with enough free reign for him to do what he does best. The resulting film has set a new bar for what both comic book movies and summer blockbusters can be. Kudos to you, your crew and your cast, Mr. Nolan. Heath, we miss your talent more than ever, man. (And here’s hoping you get your Oscar. The buzz is that you definitely deserve it.)

So, did you do YOUR part to help The Dark Knight get to the top? Did you ever think a movie could become such a cultural phenomenon as this film has? Rant back and speak on it.

The Dark Knight is now playing at a theater near you.

Source: MSNBC