Batman returns

'Dark Knight' rerelease will be Oscar reminder

Batman wants an Oscar. More literally, Warner Bros. wants a statuette — or 10 — for "The Dark Knight." So the studio plans to rerelease its blockbuster Batman sequel in January, the height of Academy Awards voting season.

"It's just a matter of bringing it back as a reminder for people," a studio insider said.

Warners domestic distribution president Dan Fellman acknowledged ongoing talks with Imax executives about the prospect of restoring the Christian Bale starrer to some number of giant-screen venues in January. It's uncertain if "Dark Knight" also will reappear in conventional venues at that point.

Directed by Christopher Nolan, the film's huge commercial and critical success has spurred talk of possible Oscar nominations for its director, producers and cast — most specifically Bale's co-star, Health Ledger, for the late actor's edgy performance as the Joker.

To date, "Dark Knight" has rung up about $512 million domestically and $440 million internationally, including more than $55 million in Imax grosses. A pre-Oscars rerelease would help assure its topping $1 billion worldwide, and any traction with nominations or wins would likely mean even greater boxoffice.

But with the title set to hit DVD in December, it's now apparent anyone hoping the Batman sequel would soar to "Titanic" heights will be disappointed. "Dark Knight" already ranks as the second-highest-grossing movie ever, after "Titanic's" $1.84 billion global haul. (partialdiff)
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