Pittsburgh fans line up for final film in Batman trilogy

Last summer, Jared Gregor landed a spot as an extra in "The Dark Knight Rises."

All 10 scorching hours on set wearing a winter coat, required for the scene filmed at Heinz Field, were worth it, he said. The 27-year-old called it an experience he'll never forget.

"And an experience we'll never stop hearing about," said his wife, Jenna, 24.

Gotham Nights at the ToonSeum

The ToonSeum features a new Batman exhibit. (Video by Nate Guidry; 7/19/2012)

Batman fans flock to the Waterfront for midnight premiere

The sold-out, midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises" at the Loews Waterfront Theater brought out a slew of Batman fans excited for the third installment of the trilogy. (Video by Carl Romanos and Brian Batko; 7/20/2012)

The final film in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy was met with plenty of sartorial fanfare Thursday night for Mr. Gregor, who wore a black suit, vest and bow tie for the midnight premiere. He sported sunglasses and the confidence of a bona fide celebrity.


"It's my time to be a movie star," he said.

Mr. Gregor and his entourage drove from their homes in Uniontown for the 12:01 a.m. showtime, joining thousands of others who sold out 12 theaters at Waterfront AMC Loews.

Across the street, Bar Louie employees draped black streamers near the bar and taped up balloons and miniature bats. Bartenders had even designed a special mixed drink for the occasion, and a DJ spun tunes.

Among the first to show up Thursday night were friends Amanda Kitchen of White Oak and J.J. Wonderling of McKeesport, both 22.

Expertly dressed as Harley Quinn, a supervillainess from the early '90s TV show "Batman: The Animated Series," Ms. Kitchen said she had been planning her costume for more than a month.

She sewed halves of two red and black tank tops together, stitched black diamonds on red arm-warmers and pulled on some red hose with one leg she dyed and sprayed-painted black. She towered over Mr. Wonderling with her platform boots -- black, of course.

The character Harley Quinn is bubbly and flirty and talks with a high-pitched voice, Ms. Kitchen explained, in her normal voice. "But she can kick your butt."

Mr. Wonderling opted out of his planned Joker attire because of the heat, and instead chose a "Gotham Rogue Football Club" T-shirt and Batman ear gauges.

Across town, SouthSide Works sold out seven theaters for the premiere. Ray J. Denk, 11, was dressed in Batman garb, muscles and all, and posing for photos with others in costume.

In that husky, unmistakable voice he said: "The South Side is safe tonight, 'cause I'm Batman."

Fandango reported Thursday evening that "The Dark Knight Rises" is on track to become one of the online movie retailer's all-time top-selling films. Tickets were already going faster than the summer superhero blockbuster "The Avengers" did in the same time period.

Boxoffice.com, which tracks movie grosses and how the Internet affects a film's performance, predicted "The Dark Knight Rises" would bring in a sweet $198 million in its opening weekend -- second only to "The Avengers" but more than the two previous Batman films. "The Dark Knight Rises" has sold out more than 2,000 showtimes nationwide on Fandango.

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Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1944. First Published July 20, 2012 4:00 AM


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