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Christopher Wilde
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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Can Batman Beat up Ironman

By Christoher Wilde

It's too soon to tell but at this stage it's unlikely Batman will pull in Ironman's 100 million dollar weekend.  The film isn't due to be released until July but Warner Brother's continues to very successfully tease us with the release of the third trailer.  I recommend seeing it from the Warner Brothers web site, they have the best screen/highest picture quality and don't hit you with adds for other products.

Due to special circumstances associated with the film there is a chance Batman could out do Ironman in numbers.  In comparison one strike against the film is that Ironman is the kind of movie you want to take your kids to; Batman looks like the kind of movie that makes parents take their kids inside and shutter the windows.  I am a much bigger fan of Batman than Ironman and I wish the production all the best returns.  Nor would I want them to kid up the film, all previous attempts to do so have failed (yea you blew it Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher). 

What Batman needs to succeed now and in the future, is to keep its core audience and find ways to appeal to the fan base of the 007 James Bond movies.  With all due respect to Ian Flemming  when you add up the James Bond movies it's easy to see they are all comic books (tut tut he wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang).

Batman the Dark Night is dark and this is compounded by the fact that Heath Ledger, who died suddenly and tragically, is sure to have given an Oscar winning performance as the Joker.

Warner Brothers has been promoting the film using a variety of viral marketing campaigns for months now included specialized scavenger hunt  contests that distributed cell phones to those who won the lucky locker.  For a complete run down of all the Dark Knight viral campaigns check “Known Dark Knight Viral Websites

These campaigns are sure to get every die hard comic book fanatic out of their mother's basement but in order for Batman to get Ironman numbers the film needs to attract a wider audience.  Batman Begins (the first film in the Christopher Nolan directed series) had an opening weekend of $48.7 million dollars (June, 2005).  The five day gross was $79 million.  I'm sure they will do better than that, especially if they throw an early Thursday opening like Ironman did.  It will be easier to estimate box office numbers after the early reviews.

Reviewers may have a hard time of it as Heath Ledger was a very promising actor just like James Dean.  Ledger showed he was willing to take risks, and rumor has it that he put his heart and soul into this film (it's a good rumor to spread).  Regardless of how good the film really is expect reviews to be overly balanced; grab a pen and circle how many different ways reviewers uncover to say 'dark film' (especially David Edelstein, who's always a pleasure to hear).

Christopher Nolan (the director) did not let me down with Batman Begins. Batman is a much harder franchise to pull off than Ironman.  It can only be done well when it dramatically engages the crippled emotional child inside of Bruce Wayne, provides the most absolute realism the cinema-tech of the day will allow, and remembers that Batman must always have and display his self-made brains and brawn.

Releasing after Indiana Jones is a good thing.  Ironman is a bright, happy, shinny movie.  Indiana Jones with all of it's temple digging, Nazi's, and fist fights will be a perfect  preparation to ease movie goers into watching what will surly be Heath Ledger's Rebel Without a Cause.

Additional movie related articles:

Ironman a 100 mil Review & Ironman 100 Million Opening Weekend!

Upcoming Movies Worth Seeing, Knocking Juno, The Next BIG Thing in VAMPIRES or check the archives to the right.

Heath Ledger James Dean

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