Batman still has some fight left in him

It’s his third iteration in a decade but ‘The Batman’ proves there’s still an audience for the caped crusader, so long as the quality’s there too, writes James Moore

Saturday 02 April 2022 00:01
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<p>Take your pick: Bale, Pattinson or Keaton? </p>

Take your pick: Bale, Pattinson or Keaton?

Holy box office Batman! Have you seen those returns? Yes, The Batman has proved that Bruce Wayne’s caped alter ego can still draw people into cinemas at the speed of a Gotham City crowd in flight from the Joker’s latest outrage. The film had to overcome a prohibitive three-hour run time and a 15 certificate in the UK, with the exception of only Belfast where a “soft” 15A allows them to see it accompanied by an adult. But despite these challenges, the film racked up the third-highest UK opening since the pandemic, with £13.5m banked before iMax screenings were factored in.

Globally, it has zoomed past its $180m-$200m budget in a matter of days and was approaching a half billion in ticket sales at the time of writing. That’s the Batmobile in full flight. It sends a message to studios too. There is still value in a cinema release.

Warner Bros had decided not to offer the movie up for simultaneous streaming on its HBO Max channel, as it had done with a string of previous high-profile releases including the recent Matrix: Resurrections. It is also a demonstration of the enduring power of the franchise – or rather the character.

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