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BREAKING: 7-18-08 A Late "Knight" for Batman Lovers - The Joker's Wild Across the Country
Friday, Jul 18, 2008 11:49am
HOLLYWOOD, CA  From CNN  (By: Tom Pace, Talk of the Town)     7-18-08: BREAKING ENTERTAINMENT  "Who you gonna call?"  Batman!  And, it seems the nation's movie-goers saw the Bat-Signal, and did just that, as the caped-crusader fans turned out in droves for the late "Knight" shows all across the country.  

During a survey of people who buy tickets through Fandango.com, 38% of those who are working said they would be taking either some time or the day off to see the movie, said CNN. 

The movie was expected to be shown on 9,400 screens in a record-breaking 4,366 theaters for its opening, according to its studio, Warner Bros. (Like CNN, Warner Bros. is a division of Time Warner.)

But enthusiasm was high for the late-night & early-morning screenings. 
One group attending a showing at the 428-seat Henry Ford IMAX Theatre outside Detroit, Michigan, drove to the venue in their version of the Batmobile and outfits representing nearly every major Batman character.

The midnight show -- with a costume party preceding it -- sold out in less than a week, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The film opened Thursday in Australia and Wednesday in Taiwan. It will be released in Japan on August 9. 

"The Dark Knight" was going to attract interest anyway -- 2005's Batman reboot, "Batman Begins," did more than $200 million in business domestically -- but the focus on the late Heath Ledger's turn as the Joker has ramped up enthusiasm. 

Ledger's performance has been hailed as "indelible" (Los Angeles Times' Kenneth Turan), "powerful" (The Washington Post's Stephen Hunter, in an overall mixed review) and "mesmerizing" (CNN.com's Tom Charity); clips of his character have dominated the movie's marketing campaign.

His absence was conspicuous Monday at the New York premiere, his co-stars said.

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