The Dark Knight

Warner Bros. Pictures

In a made-up word: Bat-tastic.

The Dark Knight pulled in an astonishing $66 million Friday, and looked to be on pace for a record opening weekend, Exhibitor Relations Co. estimated today.

Spider-Man 3, we hardly knew ye.

As of Dark Knight's $66 million debut, Spider-Man 3, which opened with $59.8 million last year, lost its titles as the biggest-ever opener and biggest-ever single-day grosser.

By Sunday, Exhibitor Relations said, The Dark Knight could boast a three-day weekend take of $155 million, a number that would best Spider-Man 3's $151.1 million, and trump the latter movie's last remaining glamour record.

Big business for Batman is meaning big business for all of Hollywood, with Exhibitor Relations calling for the weekend's top 12 films to cumulatively top $250 million, well above the record $218 million that Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Superman Returns led the Industry to in 2006.

Also aiding Hollywood's bottom line is Mamma Mia!, the Meryl Streep-led ABBA musical that, for a non-Batman movie, enjoyed a killer opening. Its estimated $9.7 million Friday gross positions it to potentially beat out Hairspray as the biggest-opening movie musical.

Space Chimps, which bowed with an estimated $2.5 million Friday, appears to have not gotten the let's-make-a-lot-of-money memo.

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