You don't need anyone to tell you right now that The Dark Knight Rises is going to be huge. The third film in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy has been dubbed the most highly anticipate movie of the summer pretty much since the moment The Dark Knight opened, and even when The Avengers set all kinds of crazy box office records back in May, it only prompted people to ask "Well, can The Dark Knight Rises beat it?"

Despite all the Batman buzz out there, the answer isn't totally clear. Early tracking numbers eyed by The Los Angeles Times say there's enough interest to get it to $180 million at the box office this weekend, but the lack of that extra 3D cash means it might be a little tricky to beat The Avengers, which opened with that 3D boost to a $207 million weekend earlier this year. The Dark Knight currently holds the record for the best non-3D opening, at $158.4 million, and the sequel will easily beat that; The Dark Knight Rises also has more moviegoers saying it's their first-choice pick than did The Avengers, The Hunger Games or the last Harry Potter film, which basically mathematically proves it's the most anticipated movie to come out in the last year.

With reviews coming in that say the movie is good, but not necessarily the greatest thing ever, The Dark Knight Rises might find itself struggling against its own buzz as we go into the weekend-- yes, the Batman diehards are going to see it, but there may be many more people who will only be convinced by glowing reviews. It's not a question if this movie will be big-- it's how big, and how much The Avengers will continue to loom over it. We'll have updates for you throughout the weekend on the box office for The Dark Knight Rises, and a review later today; let us know in the comments if the movie's box office performance matters to you, or if you're still confident it can beat The Avengers and become the biggest movie of all time.

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