The Dark Knight Swings into Theaters and Shatters Expectations in Region 8

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Are you planning to go to the theaters this weekend? Chances are, if you do, it will be to see The Dark Knight. But thousands across the nation including close to 1,000 here in Region 8 didn't wait until the weekend; they hit the movies at 12:01 a.m. Friday morning.

If there has ever been a movie that was worth the wait, this one is it. In some of my camera shots, you can see mosquitos swarming near the camera. The little bloodsuckers were out in force but movie fans were relentless. In fact, judging by the reaction of literally everyone I spoke with at the movie, all of them would probably wait in line if they had it to do all over again, knowing how it turned out.

The movie was filled with action, suspense, twists and turns, and the stuff that has made Batman famous, but The Dark Knight wasn't your normal Batman movie.

Everyone we asked had this same opinion, and no, it certainly isn't your average movie. The folks who waited in line all night at theaters from the Malco Hollywood in Jonesboro to the Paragould Cinema 8 say they loved it!  People really got into it tonight too, using tonight's event as an opportunity to, well, get into character.  "Its a huge event!" exclaimed one, in his justification for wearing the full Joker costume, including make-up.

This movie may be just exactly what the doctor ordered for the movie industry.  Most experts agree that there has been a slump as of late at the box office but this weekend, theater managers expect anything but a small turnout. "We're very impressed already on the sales and I think we're at least a screen and a half down on the sales already on the weekend but we do have four screens, so there's plenty of room to fill up," said Jeff Ayers, the general manager of Malco Hollywood.

Ledger's performance in the movie literally brought some in the audience to tear, and there were no shortage of Jokers who showed up to honor Ledger's performance.

But whether you're in full Joker attire or you're a little Batman, this movie is the one for you.

While the violence may be a little too much for some in the younger crowd, you probably won't find a better movie to see this year. Just buy tickets in advance and get there early, to get the good seats!

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