Eyewitness to History: Tim Burton’s Batman opens to massive crowds, 1989


WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Superhero movies have become a staple of summer, but that wasn’t always the case. Long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was raking in billions at the box office every couple months, comic book fans had to wait years to see their favorite characters on the big screen, which is why crowds packed the multiplexes in the summer of 1989 to see Michael Keaton dawn the cowl of the Dark Knight in Tim Burton’s Batman.

This moody masterpiece made an amazing $2.2 million dollars during late night previews on June 22nd and took in an incredible (at the time) $40 million dollars on its opening weekend. By years end, it cracked the $400 million dollar mark worldwide and sparked a series of sequels.

Batman wasn’t the only movie to dazzle audiences that year. Ghostbusters II, Back to the Future II, Lethal Weapon 2, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade also cracked the $100 million dollar mark thirty years ago.

We would like to thank our partners at the Osterhout Library for their help in putting together the Eyewitness to History series.

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