'Dark Knight' has record first day

Batman sequel brings in an estimated $66.2 million Friday

Warner Bros.' "The Dark Knight" -- suddenly the most buzzed-about film of the summer -- saw the biggest first day ever with an estimated $66.2 million in Friday grosses.

Padded by midnight and early morning showtimes at thousands of venues throughout the U.S. and Canada, the Christian Bale starrer grossed an estimated $66.2 million in its first day of release. That bested the $59.8 million Sony's "Spider-Man 3" rang up during its first day on May 4, 2007.

The record inaugural day has increased speculation that "Dark Knight" can beat the second Spidey sequel's opening-weekend record of $151.1 million. At least one rival studio -- which asked not to be identified -- crunched an internal projection showing that the Warners film will fetch more than $154 million through Sunday.

In any event, it's clear the Christopher Nolan-helmed "Dark Knight" will well more than double and likely triple the $48.7 million opening of the last "Batman" movie -- which he also directed -- June 2005's "Batman Begins."

Two other films also open this weekend.

Universal opened its female-magnet "Mamma Mia!" to solid business Friday -- at $9.8 million -- and could gross $25 million-$30 million over three days with the musical.

Fox's animated family feature "Space Chimps" will rely more on Saturday and Sunday features as it tries to climb into the upper-single-digit millions. "Chimps" rang up $2.5 million Friday.