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The Dark Knight Marketing

In May 2007, 42 Entertainment began a viral marketing campaign utilizing the film's "Why So Serious?" tagline with the launch of a website featuring the fictional political campaign of Harvey Dent, with the caption, "I Believe in Harvey Dent."

The site aimed to interest fans by having them try to earn what they wanted to see and, on behalf of Warner Bros., 42 Entertainment also established a "vandalized" version of I Believe in Harvey Dent, called "I believe in Harvey Dent too."

E-mails sent by fans slowly removed pixels, revealing the first official image of the Joker; it was ultimately replaced with many "Haha"s and a hidden message that said "see you in December."


During the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con International, 42 Entertainment launched WhySoSerious.com, sending fans on a scavenger hunt to unlock a teaser trailer and a new photo of the Joker.

On October 31, 2007, the film's website morphed into another scavenger hunt with hidden messages, instructing fans to uncover clues at certain locations in major cities throughout the United States, and to take photographs of their discoveries.


The clues combined to reveal a new photograph of the Joker and an audio clip of him from the film saying "And tonight, you're gonna break your one rule." Completing the scavenger hunt also led to another website called Rory's Death Kiss (referencing the false working title of Rory's First Kiss), where fans could submit photographs of themselves costumed as the Joker.

Those who sent photos were mailed a copy of a fictional newspaper called The Gotham Times, whose electronic version led to the discovery of numerous other websites.

The Dark Knight's opening sequence, (showing a bank raid by the Joker) and closing montage of other scenes from the film, was screened with selected IMAX screenings of I Am Legend, which was released on December 14, 2007.


A theatrical teaser was also released with non-IMAX showings of I Am Legend, and also on the official website. The sequence was released on the Blu-ray Disc edition of Batman Begins on July 8, 2008.

Also on July 8, 2008, the studio released Batman: Gotham Knight, a direct-to-DVD animated film, set between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight and featuring six original stories, directed by Bruce Timm, co-creator and producer of Batman: The Animated Series, and starring veteran Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy.


The Dark Knight Release

Warner Bros. held the world premiere for The Dark Knight in New York City on July 14, 2008, screening in an IMAX theater with the film's composers James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer playing a part of the film score live.

Leading up to The Dark Knight's commercial release, the film had drawn "overwhelmingly positive early reviews and buzz on Heath Ledger's turn as the Joker." The Dark Knight was commercially released on July 16, 2008 in Australia, grossing almost $2.3 million in its first day.


In the United States and Canada, The Dark Knight was distributed to 4,366 theaters, breaking the previous record for the highest number of theaters held by Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End in 2007. The number of theaters also included 94 IMAX theaters, with the film estimated to be played on 9,200 screens in the United States and Canada.

Online, ticketing services sold enormous numbers of tickets for approximately 3,000 midnight showtimes as well as unusually early showtimes for the film's opening day. All IMAX theaters showing The Dark Knight were sold out for the opening weekend.



Resources:
IMDB.com, Wikipedia.org
screenmusings.org






COMPLETE STORY & SCREENSHOTS


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Dent takes Rachel aside to ask her to marry him, but she is torn and cannot give him an answer. Bruce subdues Dent and locks him in a closet while Rachel watches in shock. Bruce tells Rachel that they (the Joker and his goons) have come for Harvey and to stay hidden from sight.


The Joker and his goons burst in telling the guests that they are tonight's 'entertainment." The Joker scans the room seeking out Harvey Dent when Rachel steps forward. He grabs her and pulls a knife on her telling her a different version of the story about how he got his scars, claiming that his wife was scarred by loan sharks and that he took a razor to himself to "make her smile," but that she left him over it.


Rachel kicks him away and he comes after her saying that he likes that "little fight" in her, when Batman shows up and sends him reeling. A fight breaks out between Batman, the Joker, and his goons with the Joker and the goons beating on Batman pretty well. When Batman gains the upper hand he sees the Joker holding a gun at Rachel's head as he dangles her out of a shot out window.


Batman demands he let her go, to which the Joker replies "Very poor choice of words" and lets her fall. Batman dives out the window and saves her using his cape to slow their fall as they crash into the roof of a car on the street. The Joker apparently vanishes from the scene.


The next day, Wayne tries to figure out what the Joker is after. Alfred relates a story of when he was in Burma with friends attempting to nullify the local criminals by bribing them with jewels. One thief however, tossed these bribes away and continued to raid the local convoys.


When Bruce seems confused over this behavior Alfred informs him that some men can't be reasoned with, they don't want anything in particular, that they kill for sport. Alfred observes that they just want to watch the world burn, as Bruce fixates on the Joker's face on a monitor.


Batman is seen on the edge of a rooftop listening in to cell phone frequencies when he overhears a plot against Harvey Dent. Gordon rushes to the apartment with Ramirez and Batman to find two policemen murdered, with the last names "Harvey" and "Dent."


Ramirez begins to blame Batman, but Gordon cuts her off. As Batman removes a piece of concrete wall that contains a bullet used in the murders in hopes of finding evidence, Gordon notes that the Joker has left an advance copy of tomorrow's newspaper indicating the death of the mayor.


At Wayne Enterprises, Fox meets with Wayne's accountant Coleman Reese, who claims to know about certain problems with Wayne's funding in research and development, claiming that Wayne has some sort of government project with cell phones for the army underway.


He also uncovers Fox's designs for the Batmobile/Tumbler. He tells Fox that he wants $10 million per year for the rest of his life to keep this a secret.


Fox smiles and says, "Let me get this straight. You think that your client, one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the world is a secretly a vigilante who spends his nights beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands, and your plan is to blackmail this person? Good luck."


Fox helps Wayne reconstruct the bullet taken from the murder scene and produces a fingerprint. Fox asks him if he has reassigned the R&D department. Bruce acknowledges that he has, claiming he is playing this one "close to the chest." Wayne traces the bullet fingerprint's owner to an apartment overlooking the funeral speeches for Commissioner Loeb and takes off on motorcycle.


As the ceremony continues on the street below, Wayne inspects a room where he believes the Joker might be, and he finds several men tied up. They tell Wayne that their guns and uniforms were stolen.


Wayne inspects binoculars pointed out of a blinded window. The window blind is connected to a timer. As the timer reaches zero, the blinds quickly raise, and the police snipers positioned around the area all shoot in that direction.


At the same time, the Joker, who had removed his makeup and played himself off as a member of the honor guard for the ceremony, turns and takes a shot at the mayor, but Lt. Gordon dives in the way, getting shot in the back and falling. Everyone panics and runs, but the police shoot one member of the honor guard in the leg and haul him into a truck.


Dent himself climbs in the truck, and upon inspecting the criminal, sees that the name-tag on his uniform reads 'Officer Rachel Dawes'. He calls Rachel and informs her that she's been targeted, and to get to the safest place she can, which in her case is Bruce's penthouse. He tells her he loves her, but there is no answer from Rachel.



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