Thousands of Batman fans finally got what they were waiting for Friday as sold-out midnight showings of “The Dark Knight” kicked off a weekend of screenings across the country.
“The Dark Knight” was selling an average of about 10 tickets per second on online movie-ticket site Fandango.com as fans went to see Heath Ledger and connect with one of the nation’s most mystical superhero franchises.
“I’ve been watching these since I was a kid,” said Carlos Diaz, 20, a student at New York University, who went to see the movie Friday morning.
He had sprayed his hair bright green in a tribute to Batman nemesis the Joker, Ledger’s final full movie role.
“I can’t wait to see what Ledger does with the Joker,” Diaz said. “I want to see if it matches the hype.”
Katie Burns, 23, of Hillsdale, N.J., who went to a 12:01 a.m. screening, said the film lived up to the hype.
“I thought it was amazing, probably one of the best movies I have seen in a long time,” she said. “Heath Ledger’s performance was just really, really great. The whole time you know it’s Heath Ledger, but at the same time you have to remind yourself that it’s him. He is so convincing as the Joker.”
The movie was Fandango’s second best-selling movie in pre-sales — “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” was No. 1 — and made up 94 percent of this week’s Fandango ticket sales.
“The Dark Knight,” directed by Christopher Nolan, also stars Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman.
Ledger died from an accidental prescription drug overdose in January.
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