Why 'The Dark Knight Rises' Tickets Started Selling Early

 Ron Phillips/Warner Bros.

TORONTO - The Dark Knight Rises won't be released until July, but the Christopher Nolan Batman film already has sold out some midnight screenings, thanks to some fast thinking by enterprising theater owners.

The webste /film reported Monday that Fandango quietly had begun selling tickets already, and that midnight screenings in New York and Los Angeles had sold out.

Here's the backstory: Theater chain AMC held a handful of prerelease screenings in December for fanboys to see Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol in the Imax format before the film was released generally. Those screenings included a 6-minute prologue for The Dark Knight Rises on the blown-up Imax screens.

As it happened, some AMC theater managers in New York, Los Angeles and San Fransisco decided to poll the fanboys in attendance on who was interested in buying midnight tickets to see the Batman pic on July 19.

Not surprisingly, the tickets sold out in an instant, even though the latest installment in Warner Bros.' Batman franchise isn’t due out on wide release until July 20.

Based on that on-site demand, Fandango decided to start selling additional midnight tickets for Dark Knight Rises, which features about 40 minutes of footage shot with Imax cameras that is viewed ideally in theaters with 70mm projection technology.

It all fits in with Imax’s strategy of becoming a preferred prerelease window for studio pictures, helping to build buzz before a wide theatrical release.

The Dark Knight Rises stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, along with Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Miranda Tate and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

The Warner Bros. pic is produced by Emma Thomas, Nolan and Charles Roven, who also teamed on Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

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