The Dark Knight Swings Into Region 8 at 12:01 a.m. Friday

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Grab the Bat Belt, get your Bat-a-rang and jump into the Batmobile!  Holy movie premiere Batman, its The Dark Knight!

But will The Dark Knight have the super powers needed to score at the box office?

So far this year, only two movies have really blown the office out of the water: Indiana Jones and Iron Man.  Each movie has pulled in over $300 million in the United States alone. The third place movie is more than $100 million behind Indy, and that is Kung Fu Panda.

Super hero movies traditionally do well. Last year's top box office hit was Spider-Man 3, with close to $350 million domestically. But Batman, while being very popular, has been hit-or-miss.  The original Batman was a smash hit, bringing in $251 million in the United States alone (which is pretty good, considering it's budget of $35 million). But others, like Batman and Robin, only managed to pull in $107 million domestically (which isn't good, considering it had a budget of $125 million).

So what makes The Dark Knight stand out? A few things.

  • Its the first Batman movie to open in a month other than June.
  • Its the first Batman movie without "Batman" in the title.
  • We get to see the first reinvented villain in the form of Heath Ledger's Joker (the first Batman boasted Jack Nicholson as the Joker).
  • While it hasn't been highly publicized, we WILL see Two-Face in this movie.
  • Its the first Batman movie starring a major cast member who is deceased, that being Ledger.
  • Its the longest running Batman movie, at 2 hours and 30 minutes.

In addition to all of this, the reviews of this movie are almost all with absolute praise. has it at 92% (that's good). Rolling Stone calls it stunning. Some even suggest that Heath Ledger may win an Oscar.

So will this movie be what movie theaters across the nation need? Will the reviews, the previews and the pizza tie-ins be enough to create a smash like no other this year? Or will Batman take a back seat to Iron Man and/or Indy?

For this movie to be number one, it will have to be the most successful (not adjusted for inflation) of all of the Batman movies.  Staff at the Malco Hollywood in Jonesboro say they expect it to be a sell out all weekend.

Tonight at 12:01 a.m. (that's technically Friday morning), movie theaters across Region 8 and across the nation will debut the highly anticipated movie.  Theaters in Jonesboro and Paragould will show the movie and others most likely will as well.

Region 8 News will be at the event in Jonesboro and will have a full report on Good Morning Region 8 Friday, including what movie goers thought of the event and whether or not they think you should spend your time and money to see it this weekend.

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