A tearful President Barack Obama visited the families of shooting victims.
''I come to them not so much as President as I do as a father and as a husband,'' Mr Obama said, holding back tears as he spoke to reporters after consoling survivors and relatives of those killed.
Holmes, 24, was scheduled for an advisement hearing at 9.30am Monday Denver time (1.30am today Melbourne time). He would be advised of his rights and no plea would be entered, said Casimir Spencer, a spokeswoman for the Arapahoe County District Attorney's Office.
A judge will set the date for the formal filing of charges at the hearing. Holmes - who is not speaking to police - is being held at the Arapahoe County jail.
Mr Obama tried to give an upbeat message in a press conference televised across the US.
''You see young people who have come in and just two days ago or 36 hours ago or even 24 hours ago, it wasn't certain whether they would make it and now suddenly their eyes are open, they are alert, and they are talking and it reminds you that even in the darkest of days - life continues,'' he said.
Mr Obama recounted a tale of heroism he was told by Allie Young, 19, and her friend Stephanie Davies. Young, who stood up to warn people after Holmes threw gas canisters, was shot in the neck.
''Apparently as she dropped down on the floor, Stephanie, 21 years old, had the presence of mind to drop down on the ground with her, pull her out of the aisle, place her fingers over where Allie had been wounded and applied pressure the entire time while the gunman was still shooting.''
Mr Obama said although Allie told Stephanie she needed to run, Stephanie refused to go and instead called 911 with her other hand on her mobile phone.
''I just had a conversation with Allie downstairs and she is going to be fine,'' he said.
''And, so as tragic the circumstances of what we've seen today are, as heartbreaking as it is for the families, it's worth us spending most of our time reflecting on young Americans like Allie and Stephanie,'' he said. ''Because they represent what's best in us and they assure us that out of this darkness, a brighter day is going to come.''
Video has emerged of Holmes as a teenager describing his fascination with altered states of mind in a lecture to other students. At the time of his arrest he told police he was on the prescription painkiller Vicodin.
On June 25 he applied to join a private gun range, the Lead Valley Range at Byers, Colorado, east of Aurora.
But when range owner Glenn Rotkovich called Holmes, he said, he got an answering machine with a ''bizarre'', guttural recorded greeting. He told his staff Holmes should not be allowed to fire weapons until Mr Rotkovich checked him out.
Aurora mayor Steve Hogan said nine of the people wounded at the theatre were in critical condition. ''They're in bad shape,'' Mr Hogan said. ''There are people who have had already numerous surgeries, numerous brain surgeries.''
Holmes spent $15,000 on weapons and ammunition over the past several months and had 90 packages delivered to his workplace, a law enforcement official said.
A search of his apartment in Aurora revealed 30 improvised hand grenades and several containers filled with gunpowder and petrol, as well as four more guns.