Social Media Storytelling Feature: The Batman
by Joshua Clark
The Batman was released into theaters on March 4, 2022, and earned an impressive $248.5 million in the film’s global box office opening weekend. The following weekend, Matt Reeves’ The Batman made $66 million and grossed $463.2 million on March 13, 2022. Despite two delays, the film is thriving in theaters and continues to track ahead of its Warner Brothers counterparts such as Justice League, The Dark Knight, Wonder Woman, Godzilla vs. Kong, and Dune. The character of Batman has been intertwined with popular culture for years, and this portrayal of the hero by Robert Pattinson has generated a great deal of fan engagement and online interactions.
Warner Bros. Pictures first teased the film on August 22, 2020, when they dropped the DC FanDome trailer on Youtube and hinted that the upcoming movie would be released in 2021. Unfortunately for Matt Reeves and Warner Brothers, the pandemic complicated the process of filming and pushed the release to 2022. However, everything seemed to work out as the flick now dominates the global box office. The DC FanDome Teaser generated nearly 38 million views and has received one million likes on Youtube. This two-minute teaser’s fan engagement is noticeably higher than other movie trailers released on Youtube by Warner Brothers, like Wonder Woman, Tenet, and The Witches, and it isn’t even the official main trailer.
The main trailer for The Batman was released on Youtube by Warner Bros. Pictures on October 21, 2021, and attracted over 48 million views and 1.2 million likes on Youtube with over 93k comments. This main trailer had the most views of any Warner Bros. Picture Youtube video since Joker’s final trailer was released in August 2019.
It is important to note that there have been real questions and concerns regarding the future of movie theaters and the future of cinema. Online streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, and Disney have started dominating and attracting more audiences than traditional theater. The pandemic has accelerated movement within the media and entertainment industry and has significantly boosted home entertainment services. The theaters were also closed to the public for a large portion of 2020, which meant home entertainment was the only way to watch movies. According to Civic Science, recent polls indicated that 56% of Americans would rather watch new movies for the first time at home, and only 44% would prefer the theater.
Overall, there appears to be a shift in how Americans consume movies across all age groups.
Despite all the questions and concerns regarding the future of cinema and movie theaters, Batman’s exceptional box office performance proves that audiences still crave the giant blockbuster experience in the cinema. Considering the fact that this film is three hours long, the box office numbers are even more impressive. The Batman is commercially successful, but it has also received good reviews from critics and audiences alike. The film currently is ranked in the top 100 rated movies on IMDb with a score of 8.2 and has an 85% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
There has been an incredible amount of fan engagement on Twitter, with people discussing what they liked about the movie and sharing memes.
Many fans appreciated the film’s cinematography and the film’s visual aesthetics. Greg Fraser, the cinematographer of The Batman, delivered some breathtaking shots and created an immersive visual experience. Fans on Twitter were quick to share their thoughts.
Fans also appeared to enjoy Robert Pattinson’s portrayal of the caped crusader. Notably, Pattinson claimed that Kurt Cobain served as inspiration for his iteration of Batman and Bruce Wayne. Robert Pattinson’s Batman isn’t interested in being Bruce Wayne and entirely dedicates himself to being the Batman because he feels like his actual mask to his identity is his face instead of the cowl. Batman has seen many different portrayals, yet Pattinson offers a fresh new take on the character. On Twitter, fans showed him some love.
One fan also showed support to Pattinson by personally telling him they were always Team Edward from Twilight.
Robert Pattinson’s brooding portrayal of Batman influenced by Kurt Kobain wasn’t the only way Nirvana impacted the film. The Batman director Matt Reeves himself has cited Nirvana as an influence on the film. Paul Dano played The Riddler, who was the movie’s primary villain. Dano also spoke on the impact of Nirvana when he said, “Nirvana became a part of my Riddler.” Nirvana’s “Something In The Way” anchored the trailer and was featured in the movie, contributing to Gotham’s dark, grimy aesthetic.
People have gravitated to the movie’s score and Nirvana after watching the film, as seen on Twitter.
The Batman video game Arkham Knight also saw a fan-edited Nirvana makeover.
Fan engagement was through the roof on Twitter, and people posted all kinds of funny memes, reactions, and opinions.
The Batman’s commercial and critical success suggests that there very well could be more future installments in the Matt Reeves universe. In fact, HBO Max has already approved a straight-to-series order for The Penguin, a spinoff starring Colin Farrell.