You'll have to take my word for this, but on the way to see Dark Knight last week I told Santino that I had a sneaking suspicion this would be the biggest three-day weekend in the history of movies. The initial reports had it at $155M--the biggest ever--but the final numbers have it even bigger: $158M.
I think the declines are going to be, relatively speaking, pretty slim. Dark Knight is actually a great movie, unlike the other monster three-day openers. I think it could be headed for top five all-time, maybe even top three. I think it will become, over the next couple of weeks, a big-time cultural event that people talk about. Or maybe not. We'll see.
But two statistical exit questions:
(1) What sequel showed the biggest opening-weekend dollar increase from the original movie?
(2) What sequel showed the biggest total gross dollar increase from the original?
Remember, the vast majority of sequels underperform from the original. Dark Knight is going to be one of the exceptions. I'll try to find the answers to these questions later this week, but I'd be interested to see what your initial guesses are.
At first blush, I'd guess that it would be Mad Max, Rambo, Lethal Weapon 2, or Terminator 2 . . .
(If you want to cheat, the answers should be somewhere in here.)
17 minutes ago