Batman: The Killing Joke, the one-shot graphic novel turned into feature-length animated film, will screen in 1,075 U.S. theaters in Fathom Events' widest release ever. The movie will only be shown for one night, on Monday July 25th at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. The special one-time screenings will also include an exclusive introduction from Mark Hamill, the iconic voice of The Joker, which will take audiences behind the scenes of recreating the infamous song and dance scene and show us a never-seen-before documentary about the actor's passion for the project. In other words, get your tickets now!
The R-rated feature film is based on DC's best-selling yet controversial 1988 graphic novel of the same name, written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Brian Bolland. Batman: The Killing Joke tells the tragic, definitive tale of The Jokers transformation from a failed comedian and family man into an insane criminal due to having “one bad day.” He escapes Arkham Asylum, tortures and shoots Barbara Gordon (a.k.a Batgirl), and uses her attack to push Gotham's finest, Commissioner Gordon to his wit's end - all in an effort to prove that anyone can go insane. Mark Hamill is reprising his role as the voice of The Joker, teaming up once again with Kevin Conroy as the voice of Batman (known for his work on Batman: The Animated Series). We’ll also be hearing the voices of Tara Strong as Batgirl and Ray Wise as Commissioner Gordon.
Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. distribution chief noted, "It's been a bestseller for 28 years," which further added to the fans' excitement for the big-screen adaptation. Tom Lucas, VP of Studio Relations at Fathom Events (a company co-owned by AMC Entertainment, Cinemark Holdings, and Regal Entertainment Group that specializes in presenting limited live events) added that fan interest had exceeded expectations, saying, "There's a level of excitement that's been generated because of the iconic nature of the film."
Considering most theaters that were involved in the initial Batman: The Killing Joke screening announcement were only located in major city centers, some fans were upset that they couldn't make it to the big debut. Tickets for the event sold out rather quickly, leaving many moviegoers empty-handed. Today's news of many more theaters and showtimes being added to the roster proves that those responsible for distributing the film were actually listening. Now, the highly-anticipated "adults only" film screening is more accessible for everyone to see on the big screen. If tickets sell out for the second time, we might see a few more nights added.
Of course there is always the possibility that the expected opening numbers have been overshot, meaning that not all of the seats at screenings will be filled. On the other hand, 28 years of patiently waiting for Batman: The Killing Joke to make the jump from page to screen is a ridiculously long time - making The Joker's chilling origin story the most anticipated DC animated feature in years. If the film does perform exceedingly well, it may pave the way for other straight-to-video animated comic book films to get a theatrical release as well - even if only for one night.
Batman: The Killing Joke will also be released on Digital HD on July 26th, 2016 and DVD and Blu-Ray on August 2nd, 2016.