Though the bat doesn’t officially fly out of the cave and into theaters nationwide until July 18th at 12:01 a.m., the Caped Crusader is already striking up a storm at the box office. reported that Christopher Nolan’s long awaited The Dark Knight has already sold out more than 700 performances from coast to coast—more than 270 of these performances are in Los Angeles and New York City alone.

The Dark Knight continues to gain momentum through online ticket sales, outselling several of’s Top-10 Performing Films of All-Time. At the same point in their sales cycles, The Dark Knight has sold more than three times as many advance tickets as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, more than twice as many as Spider-Man 3 and almost twice as many as The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. As tickets become scarce among the 1,300 midnight showings listed on, that opening weekend prediction of $130+ million is becoming closer to a reality.

According to a recent survey, the Batman franchise that was reinvented by director Nolan and acclaimed actor Christian Bale has garnered a loyal fan base among young adults: 98 percent of 18 to 24 year olds polled expressed interest in seeing the film during its opening weekend, followed by 92 percent of 25 to 32 year olds. In addition, 86 percent of males and 76 percent of females claimed they intend to see the film this coming weekend. Many attribute the fiercely increasing hype surrounding The Dark Knight to the untimely death of Heath Ledger this past January. Ledger’s legacy continues to stir curiosity among moviegoers over his turn as The Joker, an already iconic role that may possibly be Ledger’s finest performance.