LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" stormed into about 3,000 U.S. theaters late Tuesday night, capturing a mighty $16 million from the first midnight screenings of the action sequel that is expected to be a major blockbuster.
The opening night figure puts the Paramount Pictures release, directed by Michael Bay, in impressive company.
Batman movie "The Dark Knight" holds the record for midnight grossers, having picked up $18.5 million in 2008, and 20th Century Fox's "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith" grossed $16.9 million in 2005.
"Revenge of the Fallen" can boast the biggest midnight gross for a movie opening on a Wednesday.
Imax, which is showing the movie on its large-format screens, reported that all 160 locations sold out their midnight shows, and some of them quickly added 3 a.m. screenings. The Imax haul amounted to just over $1 million, surpassing Imax midnight record setter "The Dark Knight," which took in $675,000 on Imax screens last summer.
The debut of "Revenge of the Fallen" also overshadowed May's bow of Paramount's own "Star Trek," a Friday opener that collected $4 million at Thursday evening screenings and then took in another $3 million at midnight screenings.
(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte at Reuters)