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'Dark Knight Rises' Has Third Biggest Opening In Box Office History

July 23rd, 2012 10:16am EDT

The Dark Knight Rises

"The Dark Knight Rises" earned in an estimated $160 million over the weekend despite a midnight massacre in a Colorado cinema last week.

Early Frida monring, gunman James Holmes, 24, opened fire in a packed Aurora movie theatre, killing 12 people and injuring 59 others.

Experts and movie executives believed some fans would avoid the film in the wake of the tragedy; however, cinemagoers turned out in full force, giving director Christopher Nolan's movie the third biggest opening in box office history behind "The Avengers" and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2."

Pre-release surveys indicated "Dark Knight Rises" would earn up to $200 million at the box office, rivaling "The Avengers," which debuted at number one in May with a $200.3 million opening weekend.

Friday's massacre clearly dented "The Dark Knight's" potential. However, it's the biggest opening for a non-3D movie.

Out of respect for the victims of the shooting incident in Colorado, official weekend box office estimates were not made available as is traditional on Sunday.

Watch "'Dark Knight Rises' Paris Premiere And All Press Cancelled After Shooting"

Photo Credits: Warner Bros.

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