It's hard to overstate how obsessed nine-year-old me was with Tim Burton's Batman in 1989, and it's even harder to overstate how obsessed everyone was with Tim Burton's Batman in 1989. Take this: About one out of every four people in America saw Tim Burton's Batman in theaters. Or this: The Dark Knight Rises won't even come close to selling the number of tickets Batman did:
The Dark Knight Rises is actually on pace to sell 10 million fewer tickets than Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman. That seems staggering when you stop to think about it—given how [Christopher] Nolan’s Bat films have done huge business at the box office.
However, when Box Office Mojo took the average ticket price for each year and worked backwards from the total box office haul to figure out the raw number of tickets sold for each film, the numbers spoke for themselves. Batman sold an estimated 62,954,600 tickets back in 1989 with an average price of $3.97. The Dark Knight Rises, meanwhile, has sold 50,635,700 tickets to date at an average price of $8.02 per ticket—a 12 million ticket gap. (Via.)
Tonight at 11—for a mere three bucks!—Batman's screening at the Bagdad (3702 SE Hawthorne), hosted by podcasters Cort and Fatboy (and sponsored by the Mercury). A week or two ago I rewatched the film for Cort and Fatboy's audio commentary; what struck me the most was just how weird and cool the movie still is. It's the sort of off-balance, left-field blockbuster that doesn't get made anymore; compared to Nolan's stiff, slightly-embarrassed-to-be-about-Batman Batman movies, or any of Marvel's shiny offerings, or Sony's calculated reboot of Spider-Man, Burton's Batman feels way riskier: The dude who directed Pee-wee, Mr. Mom, Jack Nicholson mugging it up in almost every scene, a hand-made, matte-painted, model-built Gotham that's right out of Metropolis. And Prince!
But more than anything else, I could see why it made so much goddamn money: It's fun, it's got a hell of a personality, and it doesn't really feel like anything that had been made before or that's been made since. Seeing it on the big screen tonight: recommended. I mean, c'mon: