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Batman: The Killing Joke Made A Killing Its First Night In Theaters

The Killing Joke is one of the most popular graphic novels ever created. While it's not surprising that its first film adaptation would be popular, it's safe to say nobody expected this. While the movie was never really designed to have a theatrical run, the decision to give it a limited engagement in some theaters appears to have been a good one. Batman: The Killing Joke made $3 million in its Monday debut, which was good enough for third place.

While a Monday evening is not normally the busiest when it comes to movie theater attendance, the one-night-only offer of seeing Warner Bros.' new animated film, Batman: The Killing Joke was apparently enough to draw many people to the cinema. While the film finished third for the night, behind Star Trek Beyond and The Secret Life of Pets, it also finished with a higher per-screen average than any other movie currently released. According to, Killing Joke earned $2,396 per screen, versus Star Trek's $1,592. The Killing Joke was only available on a limited number of screens because the showing was set up as a special, one-night event, although, Warner Bros. added an additional night after many theaters sold out their screenings.

It will be interesting to see if Batman: The Killing Joke's success results in any changes to the way Warner Bros. releases their animated films in the future. While the popularity of this particular story is significantly greater than many, it still shows that this is something fans are willing to see. It was also an R-rated animated film, something that may have helped the film's success, since fans went in expecting a faithful adaptation of the very adult story. Could we see more animated DC movies get limited theatrical releases, or even see one get a proper release in theaters?

Our own Connor Schwerdtfeger got to view Batman: The Killing Joke at San Diego Comic-Con. You can read his thoughts here, as he thought it was stellar. While some have been critical of the way the story treats Batgirl, and we're pretty sure Alan Moore will hate it, because he hates everything, it's pretty clear that any fans of Batman owe it to themselves to check it out. The movie is now out on digital platforms and will be hitting Blu-Ray next week.

Did you attend the theatrical screening of Batman: The Killing Joke ? Let us know what the experience was like in the comments below.

Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.