The Dark Knight Rises is set to hit theaters in a little over a month, but fans probably know less about what is going to happen in the movie than they do about Iron Man 3, which won’t be released for almost another year. Give Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros. credit for having kept much of the film under wraps in spite of the fact that every news organization in the world is trying to break stories on what happens in the movie.
The Avengers screened early for the press and a number of lucky fans, which worked out pretty well for The Avengers. The Avengers received overwhelmingly positive reviews and generated a great deal of positive buzz before its opening. The only downside is that most fans knew all the biggest secrets of The Avengers before the movie ever officially opened in theaters. In fact, one of the few records that The Avengers did not break was for midnight screenings. It’s possible that because so many spoilers leaked ahead of time that fans did not feel the sense of urgency to attend midnight screenings, but rather waited until later in the weekend.
While it’s unknown for certain if there will be no early screenings for The Dark Knight Rises at all, a recent report from an overseas movie theater chain certainly indicates that will be the direction. Scott Cinemas in the UK announced via their Facebook page that Warner Bros. had informed them that there would be no midnight shows of The Dark Knight Rises in the UK. The reason being is because The Dark Knight Rises is opening as a day-and-date release with the US. According to Warner, the first permitted shows are going to be the midnight shows on Friday, July 20 in the United States.
This direction is also in stark contrast to The Avengers which actually opened overseas before opening in the U.S. Warner Bros. appears to be going to great lengths to preserve the mystery of The Dark Knight Rises for U.S. fans. If Warner Bros isn’t going to allow the UK to open The Dark Knight Rises even a couple hours early, then it’s very unlikely there will be any early fan screenings in the days before.
An even bigger questions is will even the press be given early screenings. While studios can control limited press screenings a little better, there is always someone who winds up breaking the embargo early anytime there are press screenings for a movie. While The Dark Knight did screen early for the press, The Dark Knight Rises has been shrouded in much more secrecy. As the final part of Nolan’s Batman trilogy, a major question revolving around the movie is whether various characters survive the movie. If Warner Bros. can actually protect that secret until the U.S. midnight opening, then The Dark Knight Rises will likely crush the midnight opening record.
As someone who writes about comic book movies, I would love to attend an early screening for The Dark Knight Rises. However, as a fan, I’m kind of hoping that Warner Bros. does go the no advance screenings at all route. After all Christopher Nolan has done to preserve the secrecy of The Dark Knight Rises, it would seems like a waste if advance screenings were to spoil all the biggest mysteries.