The Dark Knight to Pack Theaters Just Before the Dawn

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Need we say more?

With more than a week to go before the highly-anticipated release of “The Dark Knight,” Fandango, the nation’s leading moviegoer destination, reports that many of its pre-opening Thursday midnight shows on July 17 are already sold out in cities across the country, from New York to Boise, Idaho. Theaters continue to add 3:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. pre-opening showtimes to meet the ticketing demand.

“‘The Dark Knight’ may be responsible for a lot of bleary eyes at work next Friday morning,” says Rick Butler, Chief Operating Officer for Fandango. “We’re seeing a record number of late-night showtimes selling out in advance, while theaters are adding new performances every day.”

More than 1,500 late-night showtimes of the movie have been scheduled for the film’s pre-opening on Thursday night (Friday morning), July 17-18, at Fandango.com/TheDarkKnight. An online survey of more than 3,000 “The Dark Knight” fans on Fandango.com over the holiday weekend offered the following information on the late-night surge:

* 37% of respondents plan to see the film at least once during one of the late night performances on Thursday night.
* 38% say that they intend to take off a few hours or the entire day from work on Friday as a result of seeing the movie the night before.
* 60% of these moviegoers are male.
* 71% are under the age of 35.
* 39% plan to see the film in IMAX(R).
* 92% expect that the Academy will recognize Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker with a posthumous Oscar(R) nomination next year.

For Fandango, “The Dark Knight” is poised to be the year’s top advance ticket-seller in wide release, outpacing “Iron Man,” “Indiana Jones 4” and “Sex and the City” at the same point in those films’ sales cycles.

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