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Published July 18, 2008

Dark_Knight_2.jpg If early ticket sales are any indication, 20th Century Fox's animated Space Chimps is poised to win the weekend box office with $127 million debut, trouncing The Dark Knight .  These early box office estimates are based on a random sampling of 32 moviegoers at the Cinema Grandplex 3 in Melbourne, Florida, including a field trip of 16 elementary school students and 3 parent chaperones waiting in line for Space Chimps .

"The kids happen to be learning about primates and planets right now, so we thought it might be fun to go see a cute cartoon about monkeys in space," said 3rd grade teacher, Alison Stockdale.

According to super early projections, Mamma Mia! is expected to come in second place with an $80 million opening. The ABBA musical displayed surprising box office muscle at the Friday 11:00am screening, with nearly a dozen seats occupied by members of the Melbourne Senior Women's Choir.  "I don't know what this Black Knight is all about, but when I learned Meryl Streep was singing and dancing in a movie, I just had to be the first in line," said 69-year-old soprano Tess Shipley.

The Dark Knight is projected to come in third place with a disappointing $7 million opening weekend.

"These estimates are completely premature and in no way representative of actual ticket sales," said Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan, clearly embarrassed by his flop. "Why did you only talk to 32 people? Was The Dark Knight even showing at that theater?"

The Caped Crusader's box office failure at the Grandplex 3 follows Space Chimps receiving higher test screening feedback than The Dark Knight  when screened for primates at the San Diego Zoo. "Colors good," signed the famed chimpanzee Roku. The Dark Knight received a less-than-glowing: "Colors boring. Prefer apple."

Final box office rankings are subject to change when official weekend numbers are released Monday morning.

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