The Dark Knight Rises’ officially opens at midnight tonight and industry analysts are closely watching if the film will be able to topple this year’s big blockbuster, ‘The Avengers.’ While some studio moguls say yes, others are still doubtful.

Warner Bros. have ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ already earning $25 million in advance ticket sales giving no question that once the weekend is over, it will earn the record for best domestic debut of all time for a 2D movie. Box office observers believe the film could debut anywhere between $185-$195 million while Warner Bros. say $170 mllion is a good starting point. Either way, this beats the record set by ‘The Dark Knight’ with $154.8 million.

Currently, the record for biggest domestic three day opening of all time is held by ‘The Avengers’ grossing $207.4 million with number 2 belonging to ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2’ which grossed $169.2 million. The one advantage that these movies had the ‘TDKR’ doesn’t is that these movies were also released in 3D. Roughly 52% of ‘The Avengers’ gross from the opening weekend came from 3D ticket sales.

However, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ will be released in more IMAX theaters than any other movie opening in 332 theaters in all. Nolan, in fact, shot about an 1 hour of the film (a little more than a third of the film’s running time) with IMAX cameras so it should easily beat the $15.3 million earned by ‘The Avengers’ in this format.

Regardless, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ will leave an indelible mark in movie making history but we’ll just have to wait until Monday when all the numbers are in to see what that mark will be.

In an interview with EW, Nolan said about his last film in the franchise:

“I don’t want to be just a superhero movie. I want to be our movie. But I don’t want to seem arrogant, either. I just want people to come into the theater with only the two previous (Batman) movies in their heads…The Lord of the Rings trilogy was in the back of our minds the entire time we were making these. There are very few great third films. There are certain third films that exist to fulfill a requirement for a sequel. I wanted a third film that had something to say, that was a conclusion to a larger story.”

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ opens in theaters July 20th.

Source: Deadline