As it is truly no surprise:
"Dark Knight" midnight opening: $18.489 million at 3,040 theaters.
Tops 'Revenge of the Sith's $16.5 million record.
Please take notes on this, you Hollywood goons. This isn't a magic trick or slight of hand. This is what happens when you take a classic franchise with a long history, huge fan base, and rich tapestry of past story lines both simple and complex, and put them in the hands of competent filmmakers.
This is what happens when you don't let delusional self-important artists turn a borrowed concept into a canvas for their own half-ass surreal artistic expressions. This is what happens when you don't dumb down an idea until the cartoons based on the same subject seem more mature and logical. This is what happens when you don't cram as many villains as possible into a film so there is no time for actual character development and reasonable plot advancement, because you are too busy giving everybody a chance to pose for promotional stills and blurt out one-liners that would have made Adam West storm off set. This is what happens when you don't give Batman's suit nipples.
This is what happens when you make a real movie.
People pay to see it.