The Dark Knight Update

The Dark Knight raced past the $200M mark on Tuesday after only five days becoming the fastest film in Hollywood history to reach that milestone. The old record was eight days and was held by three films - 2006's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, 2004's Spider-Man 2, and 2005's Star Wars Episode III. The latest Batman saga grossed a stellar $20.9M on Tuesday, off 15% from Monday, to raise its total to $203.8M. It was also the second biggest Tuesday gross in history after the opening day of Transformers last July which brought in $27.9M.

The Christian Bale starrer has also broken the opening week record even though it still has two days left in the period. That benchmark was set in July 2006 by Chest which grabbed $196M in its first seven days. Dark Knight is on course to finish its debut week with a jaw-dropping $235-240M. That means that if the superhero sequel can post a second weekend decline of 60% or lower, it will crack the $300M threshold on Sunday after a mere ten days smashing yet another record. Chest currently holds that record as well doing the deed in 16 days.

Warner Bros. got off to a 17% larger opening weekend with Knight compared to Disney's Chest. Now after five days, Batman is running 20% ahead of Captain Jack's pace. Knight's midweek total from Monday to Thursday now seems on course to reach roughly $80M which is an amount most other summer blockbusters never even reach on opening weekend.

For 2008, The Joker and pals already have the fourth biggest grosser trailing Paramount's trio of Iron Man, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Kung Fu Panda. At its current pace, Dark Knight will surpass Panda on Wednesday in its sixth day, and will soar past the other two next week becoming 2008's highest grossing blockbuster in less than 14 days of release. A final tally north of $400M now seems all but guaranteed given the continued box office muscle being displayed.

Be sure to check back on Thursday for continued coverage of The Dark Knight's record-shattering opening week.

Last Updated: July 23, 2008 at 3:45PM ET

Written by Gitesh Pandya