UPDATE: Warner Bros. Reports $30.6 Million Midnights for Dark Knight Rises

While this is a strong start for the conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, starring Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hardy, it’s hard to tell whether this means The Dark Knight Rises may once again claim the opening weekend record it previously held with The Dark Knight, because the threequel is likely to be more frontloaded than its predecessor. That $30.6 million is also below the $43.5 million amassed at midnight by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 last summer before it broke The Dark Knight‘s opening weekend record.

Nolan’s previous Batman movie made $18.4 million in midnights before setting its opening weekend record with $158.4 million, but that number was subsequently bested by the $22.2 million in midnights for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince–that went on to have a $58 million opening day–and then the $26.2 million in midnights made by The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which grossed $142.8 million in its first weekend in November 2009.

Right now, it’s still undetermined whether The Dark Knight Rises will behave similar to the previous installment or The Avengers and maintain that midnight business over the weekend.

Check back tomorrow and over the weekend for updates.