Warner Bros.' The Dark Knight Rises is rolling out in style around the globe.
Studio insiders say the final installment in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy is expected to gross north of $25 million in Thursday midnight runs -- one of the best showings of all time and easily besting the $18.7 million earned by The Avengers earlier this summer, even though Dark Knight Rises doesn't have the advantage of being released in 3D (The Dark Knight grossed just north of $18 million in midnight shows).
Dark Knight Rises, from Warners and Legendary Pictures, opened in more than 3,700 theaters at 12:01 a.m. Friday. By Friday morning, it will be playing in more than 4,400 theaters, the widest release ever for a Warner Bros. picture and on par with The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the widest release of all time.
Overseas, Dark Knight Rises grossed a stellar $10.4 million in its first day of play in nine territories, including an $3.7 million in Australia. The movie is pacing 83 percent higher or more than The Dark Knight in many of the markets.
Dark Knight Rises -- returning Christian Bale in the role of caped crusader -- grossed $3.1 million on its first day of play in Korea, 131 percent ahead of the opening day gross of Dark Knight.
Domestically, Dark Knight Rises has raked in $30 million in advance sales, an unprecedented number. The big question: Can it beat the $207 million three-day debut of Avengers earlier this summer and become the top opening film of all time? (Avengers' opening number included $35 million in 3D upcharges.)
Online ticket service Fandango reported on Thursday that it has sold out more than 2,000 shows, including all Imax midnight runs.