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THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

The Dark Knight Rises is a 2012 British-American superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, who co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Jonathan Nolan and the story with David S. Goyer. Featuring the DC Comics character Batman, the film is the final installment in Nolan's Batman film trilogy, and it is the sequel to Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008). Christian Bale reprises the lead role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, with a returning cast of his allies: Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth, Gary Oldman as James Gordon, and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox. The film introduces Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), a sly, morally ambiguous cat burglar, and Bane (Tom Hardy), a mercenary bent on destroying Gotham City. Drawn back into action by new threats facing the city, an older Bruce Wayne is forced to come out of retirement and become Batman once again.

Hathaway auditioned not knowing what role she was being considered for, admitting that she had one character in mind, but only learned that the role was Selina Kyle after talking with Christopher Nolan for an hour. She described the role as being the most physically demanding she had ever played, and confessed that while she thought of herself as being fit she had to redouble her efforts in the gym to keep up with the demands of the role. Hathaway trained extensively in martial arts for the role, and looked to Hedy Lamarr (who was the inspiration for the Catwoman character) in developing her performance. Initial fan reaction to Hathaway being cast was negative (not the girl for Ella Enchanted the internet feaked out). The objections were similar to those raised when Michael Keaton was cast as Batman in Tim Burton's 1989 film. Like Keaton, Hathaway would prove her critics wrong and she would make an excellent Catwoman, later winning the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Selina Kyle.

Christopher Nolan was initially hesitant about returning to the series for a second time, but agreed to come back after developing a story with his brother and Goyer that he felt would conclude the series on a satisfactory note. Nolan drew inspiration from Bane's comic book debut in the 1993 "Knightfall" storyline, the 1986 series The Dark Knight Returns, and the 1999 storyline "No Man's Land". Filming took place in various locations, including Jodhpur, London, Nottingham, Glasgow, Los Angeles, New York City, Newark, and Pittsburgh. Nolan used IMAX cameras for much of the filming, including the first six minutes of the film, to optimize the quality of the picture. A variation of the Batplane termed "The Bat", an underground prison set, and a new Batcave set were created specifically for the film.

Warner Bros. president of production Jeff Robinov had hoped a third film would be released in 2011 or 2012. Nolan wanted the story for the third installment to keep him emotionally invested. "On a more superficial level, I have to ask the question," he reasoned, "how many good third movies in a franchise can people name?" Nolan said that he never even thought a third film was possible in the foreword for his book The Art and Making of the Dark Knight Trilogy. Nolan only agreed to a third film on the basis of finding a worthwhile story, fearing that he would become bored halfway through production if he discovered the film to be unnecessary. By December 2008, Nolan completed a rough story outline, before he committed himself to Inception. Later in December, Alan F. Horn confirmed that while discussions with Nolan about a third film were ongoing, no casting had been done, and Horn denied all such rumors. Before Nolan confirmed his involvement, Gary Oldman had said he was confident Nolan would return. Following the success of the Joker in The Dark Knight, studio executives wished for The Riddler to be included as the primary villain as he was considered a similar character and encouraged the casting of Leonardo DiCaprio. However, Nolan wanted the antagonist to be vastly different than the previous incarnations and committed to using Bane instead, citing the need for a character with a physical presence within the film. He was initially unfamiliar with the character's back-story, but pointed out the appeal of an archetype, labelling it as "the extreme of some type of villainy". When comparing the choice of Bane with the Joker, Nolan highlighted the Joker as an example of "diabolical, chaotic anarchy and has a devilish sense of humor", juxtaposing him against Bane, who he likened to "a classic movie monster with a terrific brain."

It was not until February 9th, 2010, that it was announced that Nolan had "cracked" the story of a sequel to The Dark Knight and was committed to return to the project. Shortly afterward, it was announced David S. Goyer and Jonathan Nolan were working on a screenplay. Goyer would leave the project during pre-production to begin work on Man of Steel; Jonathan continued writing the script based on the story by his brother Chris and Goyer. Chris Nolan said that his brother's original draft was about 400 pages. The film's storyline has been compared with the Batman comic book series' story arc "Knightfall" (1993), which showcased Bane; the mini-series The Dark Knight Returns (1986), in which Batman returns to Gotham City after a ten-year absence; and the story arc "No Man's Land" (1999), which depicts a Gotham cut off from the rest of the world and overrun by gangs. Nolan confirmed the Joker would not return in the third film, and dismissed rumors that he considered using unused footage of Heath Ledger from The Dark Knight. The Dark Knight Rises reunited Nolan with many of his past collaborators, including cinematographer Wally Pfister, production designer Nathan Crowley, editor Lee Smith, costume designer Lindy Hemming, special effects supervisors Paul Franklin and Chris Corbould, and composer Hans Zimmer.

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Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Pictures' "The Dark Knight Rises" is the epic conclusion to filmmaker Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. Leading an all-star international cast, Oscar(R) winner Christian Bale ("The Fighter") again plays the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The film also stars Anne Hathaway, as Selina Kyle; Tom Hardy, as Bane; Oscar(R) winner Marion Cotillard ("La Vie en Rose"), as Miranda Tate; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as John Blake. Returning to the main cast, Oscar(R) winner Michael Caine ("The Cider House Rules") plays Alfred; Gary Oldman is Commissioner Gordon; and Oscar(R) winner Morgan Freeman ("Million Dollar Baby") reprises the role of Lucius Fox.
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During location scouting in December 2010, Nolan began searching for locations such as India, Romania, and Michigan. The film had an estimated budget of $250–300 million, coming down to about $230 million after tax credits. Nolan elected not to film in 3-D, but instead stated that he intended to focus on improving image quality and scale using the IMAX format. The Dark Knight Rises featured over an hour of footage shot in IMAX (by comparison, The Dark Knight contained 28 minutes). Nolan had several meetings with IMAX Vice-President David Keighley to work on the logistics of projecting films in digital IMAX venues. Wally Pfister had expressed interest in shooting the film entirely in IMAX, but because of the considerable noise made by IMAX cameras, 35mm and 70mm cameras had to be used for shooting the film's dialogue scenes, as dialogue had to be dubbed when shot with IMAX cameras. Chairman and president of the IMAX Corporation Greg Foster stated that IMAX plans to run the film in its theatres for two months, despite only being contractually committed to run the film for two weeks. Nolan also bypassed the use of a digital intermediate for the film, resulting in less manipulation of the filmed image and higher film resolution.

Filming was scheduled to start in May and conclude in November 2011. Principal photography commenced on May 6th, 2011, in Jodhpur, India at the Mehrangarh Fort before moving to Pittsburgh, where it operated under the working title Magnus Rex to reduce the visibility of the production. Shooting locations within the city included Heinz Field, the site of the football game, with members of the Pittsburgh Steelers playing the Gotham Rogues football team. More than 11,000 extras were used to depict the shot sequence. Filming in Pittsburgh also took place at the Mellon Institute and Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. A letter sent out to residents and business owners detailing road closures revealed that the streets of the city would be featured "as the start of [the] film". 9-1-1 operators were told to expect an increase in calls related to gun shots and explosions in the film's production. The Pittsburgh leg of production wrapped after three weeks on August 21st, 2011. The next portion of the filming began in Los Angeles in late August and finished up on October 23rd after nine weeks of filming. New York and New Jersey were the next places of filming. The Trump Tower replaced the Richard J. Daley Center as the location for the headquarters of Wayne Enterprises. In November 2011, shooting shifted to Newark, New Jersey. Newark City Hall and Military Park were among the locations used for filming. Other shooting locations include London and Glasgow, the latter of which was used for "additional exterior filming". Principal photography concluded on November 14th, 2011. The external waterfall scene at the end of the film was shot at Sgwd Henrhyd falls, on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales.

Production photos from filming in Pittsburgh showed a second Tumbler chassis after the first was destroyed, indicating that a new Batmobile would be in the film, following the destruction of the first in The Dark Knight. Further set photos revealed a "new vehicle" being transported to Wabash Tunnel, prompting speculation as to its nature. In June 2011, Autoblog confirmed the presence of the new Lamborghini Aventador on the film set.


Several accidents occurred during the production of the film. While filming at Wollaton Hall, Nottingham, a tractor-trailer crashed into the main entrance, though no one was injured. A stuntman parachutist later crashed through the roof of a home in Cairngorm Gliding Club, Feshiebridge in Scotland, and became wedged there after a failed landing during a skydiving stunt; he was not seriously injured. While filming scenes in Pittsburgh, Hathaway's stunt double crashed into an IMAX camera while filming a sequence that required her to ride a Batpod down a flight of stairs during a riot. There were no injuries, but the camera was destroyed. A second accident took place in Pittsburgh when the truck carrying the then-unidentified vehicle later termed "The Bat" went off-course and crashed into a lighting array, damaging the model of the aircraft. Production was delayed while the model was repaired.

Shortly before Christmas of 2011, Christopher Nolan invited many of America's most prominent directors, including Edgar Wright, Michael Bay, Bryan Singer, Jon Favreau, Eli Roth, Duncan Jones and Stephen Daldry, to Universal CityWalk's IMAX theatre for a private screening of the first six minutes of The Dark Knight Rises, which had been shot on IMAX film and edited from the original camera negative. Nolan, feeling that the use of film stock in cinema is currently being phased out due to the introduction of digital cinematography and projection, used this screening to make a case for the continued use of film, which he asserts still offers superior image quality to any digital format, and warned the filmmakers that unless they continued to assert their choice to use film in their productions, they may eventually lose it as an option. Nolan explained; "I wanted to give them a chance to see the potential, because I think IMAX is the best film format that was ever invented. It's the gold standard and what any other technology has to match up to, but none have, in my opinion. The message I wanted to put out there was that no one is taking anyone's digital cameras away. But if we want film to continue as an option, and someone is working on a big studio movie with the resources and the power to insist [on] film, they should say so. I felt as if I didn't say anything, and then we started to lose that option, it would be a shame. When I look at a digitally acquired and projected image, it looks inferior against an original negative anamorphic print or an IMAX one."

Costume designer Lindy Hemming explained that Bane uses a mask to inhale an analgesic gas, which, in director Christopher Nolan's words, "keeps his pain just below the threshold so he can function." In designing Bane's costume, Hemming needed it to look "like an amalgam of all sorts of bits and pieces he cobbled together, as he passed through some very remote places. We made parts of his vest, for example, from fragments of an old military tent. His clothes are militaristic, but are not in any way a uniform." Hemming also designed Bane's mask to look "animalistic".

Costume effects supervisor Graham Churchyard created a three-dimensional model of actor Tom Hardy's face and skull to design the mask, allowing the mask to perfectly conform to the contours of Hardy's face.

Hemming personally designed Bane's coat, which she admitted took two years to complete. Taking inspiration from a Swedish army jacket and a frock coat from the French Revolution, it was designed to make Bane look like equal parts dictatorial and revolutionary. The design was difficult as Hemming struggled to find a tailor in Los Angeles who could work with shearling.

The Batsuit consisted of 110 separate pieces, each of which had to be replicated dozens of times over the course of the production. The base layer was made of a polyester mesh that is utilized by the military and high-tech sports manufacturers because of its breathability and moisture-wicking properties. Molded pieces of flexible urethane were then attached to the mesh, to form the overall body armor plating. Carbon fiber panels were placed inside the sections on the legs, chest and abdomen. The cowl was sculpted from a cast of Bale's face and head to become a perfect fit for Christian Bale. The suit remained unchanged for the film since The Dark Knight.

In creating Selina Kyle's catsuit, two layers of material were used, with the outer layer being polyurethane coated spandex, embossed with a hexagonal pattern. The catsuit also consisted of elbow-length gloves, a utility belt, and thigh-high boots with spike heels. Meow.

Concept artist Tully Summers commented on Nolan's style of cinematography when asked about the difference between his designs for this film and fantasy-based designs for Men in Black 3: "The difference for me was Christopher Nolan's visual style. One of the things that makes his Batman movies so compelling is their tone of plausibility. He will often prefer a raw, grittier design over one that is very sleek and product design pretty. It's sort of a practical military aesthetic. This stuff is made to work, not impress shoppers. The Dark Knight Rises is a war film." Producer Emma Thomas stated this Batman film has a different visual aesthetic from the first two Nolan-directed features, explaining that "it's meant to be winter in Gotham, so that right there is going to lend a whole different look to the film."

The film introduces a vehicle that has been compared with the Batplane, dubbed "the Bat". In designing the Bat, Nathan Crowley approached it as if it were an actual military project, emphasising the need for it to "fit into the same family" as the Tumbler and the Batpod. The final version of the Bat takes its design cues from the Harrier Jump Jet, Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey and the Boeing AH-64 Apache. Chris Corbould described the Bat's size and shape as presenting a major challenge for filming given Christopher Nolan's emphasis on practical effects over computer-generated imagery. In order to make the Bat "fly", it was variously supported by wires, suspended from cranes and helicopters, and mounted on a purpose-built vehicle with hydraulic controls to simulate movement.

When designing the Batcave set, Crowley and fellow production designer Kevin Kavanaugh hit upon the idea of flooding the Batcave and having Batman's equipment, the Batsuit and a supercomputer rise from the water. Another set was designed at Cardington as an "underground prison", a rough-hewn labyrinth of stone cells in a vast abyss with a 120 foot (37 m) vertical shaft leading to the surface. Exteriors above the prison were filmed in Jodhpur, India, chosen because the "forbidding landscape added to the desolation".

In an interview in October 2010, composer Hans Zimmer confirmed that he would be returning to score The Dark Knight Rises. James Newton Howard was offered to return and write the score with Zimmer as he did for Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, but he chose not to because he noted that the chemistry established between Zimmer and Nolan during the making of Inception would make him seem like a "third wheel". Zimmer included several cues from the earlier scores, but explains that he wanted to go in a "completely different direction" for Bane's theme. While the theme accompanying Selina Kyle is deliberately ambiguous, the musical thread spanning throughout the trilogy was composed exclusively for Bruce Wayne.

The official website launched in May 2011 introducing a viral marketing campaign similar to the one used to promote The Dark Knight. The website streamed an encrypted audio file described by users as chanting. Users decrypted the audio to the Twitter hashtag, "#TheFireRises". Warner Bros. removed a pixel from the webpage for every tweet using the hashtag. The website revealed the first official image of Bane.

In July 2011, a teaser trailer leaked online before its official release with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. The studio released the teaser three days after the leak to mixed reviews. Later the theatrical trailer was leaked online as well, before being released the following week attached to theatrical prints of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Critics noted political undertones with dialogue foreshadowing the theme of income inequality and an "Occupy Gotham" campaign within the world of the story. Receiving more than 12.5 million views in the first 24 hours after its release, the trailer set the record for most combined downloads from iTunes, beating the previous record held by The Avengers. However, the second trailer for The Avengers again set the record with 13.7 million downloads. Warner Bros. attached a second theatrical trailer for The Dark Knight Rises to theatrical prints of The Avengers.

Continuing a method used with The Dark Knight whereby the opening sequence of the film was attached to IMAX prints of I Am Legend seven months before release, a six-minute prologue of The Dark Knight Rises was attached to 70mm IMAX prints of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, again approximately seven months before release. Critical reaction to the prologue was positive, with one critic commenting that "no one gets to make a film on this kind of scale anymore. Except for Christopher Nolan," though a round-up of reviews highlighted the way many critics found Tom Hardy's dialogue very difficult to hear. Addressing the issue in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Nolan said "I think when people see the film, things will come into focus. Bane is very complex and very interesting and when people see the finished film people will be very entertained by him."

Viral marketing campaigns for the film continued as magazine companies Empire and Wired received "CIA documents" concerning a "Dr. Leonid Pavel", with its mugshot connected to actor Alon Abutbul. According to the first document, Pavel is a missing Russian nuclear physicist, while the second document appears to be an edited transcript of a conversation discussing the handover of Dr. Pavel to the CIA by Georgian separatists, but with most of the conversation redacted. These were later shown to be plot elements of the six-minute prologue. The official Twitter account later linked to another censored document, this time, referencing "Operation Early Bird". A website of the same name was discovered, revealing a countdown timer. When the countdown finished, the site presented a map showing all available theaters that would be screening the film's prologue earlier than its release. Various websites received a package that included a cylinder map of "strike zones", and a "fire rises" T-shirt. In April 2012, the film's official website was updated with a "dossier" on a suspect named "John Doe" also known as "The Batman" for an arrest, with a list of several accusations. The premise of the campaign starts when the mayor of Gotham City "redoubles" the effort to capture Batman and anyone supporting his return in preparation for the upcoming "Harvey Dent Day". The site also includes an extensive list of real-world locations where "graffiti related to movement in support of the vigilante's return" is located. For each tweet of a specific location marked on the list, a frame of the second theatrical trailer for the film was released on a separate website.

In January 2012, six months prior to the film's release, tickets for midnight IMAX showings in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles went on sale and sold out immediately. Purchased tickets surfaced for sale online for over $100, compared with their original price of $17.50.


At the American International Toy Fair, Mattel unveiled figures for Batman, Bane, and Catwoman, and Batman's flying vehicle, The Bat. The Mattel figures will also be released in the "Movie Masters" line, featuring more highly detailed and articulated presentation, and Quiktek versions that feature interchangeable accessories. Lego is set to release building sets and mini-figures based on the film and incorporating other DC Comic characters. Additionally, Funko is releasing a series of plush toys, Mezco Toyz are releasing vinyl figures, and Hornby are releasing the Batman Tumbler car. Other partners include Jakks Pacific who are creating novelty and large-scale figures and plush toys, and PPW Toys, who are creating a Batman themed Mr. Potato Head. Various clothing items including shoes, t-shirts, hats and wallets are also being produced.

A video game of the same name was released on the same day as the release of the film for the iOS and Android devices for promoting the movie. The game features open world with primary focus on stealth and combat. The combat system of the game is inspired from Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. It takes place in Gotham City, with a somewhat similar but still significantly different plot from that of the movie. IGN gave it a mediocre score of 5.5/10.

The film novelization, written by author Greg Cox and published by Titan Books, was released alongside the film on July 24, 2012.

Warner Bros. partnered with Mountain Dew to do a cross-promotion that included a special paint scheme on the No. 88 Chevrolet Impala owned by Hendrick Motorsports and driven by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. On June 17, 2012, the car won the 2012 Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway. On July 4, 2012, the studio signed a deal with Formula One team Lotus F1 to have the film's logos appear on the Lotus E20s driven by Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean at the 2012 British Grand Prix. Räikkönen and Grosjean went on to finish the race in fifth and sixth place respectively. Warner Bros. had previously followed a similar promotion at the 2008 British Grand Prix, when the now-defunct Toyota F1 carried a livery to promote The Dark Knight.

Two digital comic books entitled Batman Origins and The Dark Knight: Prologue were released exclusively for Nokia Lumia devices. A special movie application has also been released, featuring trailers, wallpapers, movie schedules and Batman trivias. Limited editions of the Lumia 710, Lumia 800 and Lumia 900 were also released featuring a laser-etched Batman logo.

This massive marketing campaign would crash into a real life tragedy on July 20th, 2012. During a midnight showing of the film at the Century 16 Cinema in Aurora, Colorado, a gunman wearing a gas mask opened fire inside the theater, killing 12 people and injuring 58 others. Police responding to the shooting apprehended a suspect, later identified as 24-year-old James Eagan Holmes, shortly after arriving on the scene. At the time of his arrest, Holmes allegedly identified himself as the Joker to police.

Warner Bros. stated that it was deeply saddened by the shooting, and announced the cancellation of the Paris, Mexico, and Japan premieres of The Dark Knight Rises, and suspended the marketing campaign for the film in Finland. Several broadcast networks also suspended television ads for the film in the United States because of the tragedy. The trailer for Gangster Squad, another Warner Bros. movie which was included in the screening of The Dark Knight Rises, has been removed as it contains a scene which shows gangsters shooting submachine guns at moviegoers through the screen, similar to the shooting in Aurora. Director Christopher Nolan released a public statement calling the shooting "unbearably savage". Other stars of the film released statements expressing their condolences, with star Christian Bale and his wife (above) paying a personal visit to the survivors and the memorial in Aurora.

On July 6th, 2012, Warner Bros. held a special IMAX screening of The Dark Knight Rises for more than one hundred reporters and critics. However, technical issues with the computer device synchronising the sound and picture forced the studio to postpone the screening by a day. The film later premiered on July 16th at the AMC Lincoln Square Theater in New York City, New York, followed by a European premiere on July 18th at Leicester Square in London, England. The film was released in Australia and New Zealand on July 19th, and was later released in North America and the United Kingdom on July 20th.

The Dark Knight Rises received positive reviews from critics. The Telegraph granted the film a maximum score of five stars, stating that it is "a superhero film without a superhero," comparing it with The Godfather Part II and praising Hardy's performance as well as the film's intricate plot and narrative. Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times thought the film was "potent, persuasive and hypnotic" and that it was "more than an exceptional superhero movie, it is masterful filmmaking by any standard." The Playlists Todd Gilchrist wrote " A cinematic, cultural and personal triumph, The Dark Knight Rises is emotionally inspiring, aesthetically significant and critically important for America itself – as a mirror of both sober reflection and resilient hope." IGN gave it a 9 out of 10, noting similarities in tone and theme to Batman Begins over the trilogy's second installment The Dark Knight, but also describing Bane as "that bit less interesting to watch" than Ledger's Joker, despite praising his "menacing voice" and "body language-driven performance". Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three out of four stars, stating "the film begins slowly with a murky plot and too many new characters, but builds to a sensational climax." Film critic Richard Roeper gave the film an "A", calling it "a majestic, gorgeous, brutal and richly satisfying epic", and citing the final scenes of the picture as "the best five minutes of any film this year."

The Daily Mail's Chris Tookey said that the film was bloated and overly long, and criticized the sombre tone and lack of humor, despite praising the film's visually-impressive set pieces. CNN's Tom Charity called this a "disappointingly clunky and bombastic conclusion to a superior series" and even went so far as to call it Nolan's worst film. Anthony Lane of The New Yorker says that the "story is dense, overlong, and studded with references that will make sense only to those intimate with Nolan's previous excursions into Batmanhood".

Writing in Salon, David Sirota, a progressive political commentator compared The Dark Knight Rises and the game Call of Duty to 1980s popular culture reflecting the political period of the time, accusing them of perpetuating a conservative agenda: "Just as so many 1980s pop culture products reflected the spirit of the Reagan Revolution's conservative backlash, we are now seeing two blockbuster, genre-shaping products not-so-subtly reflect the Tea Party's rhetorical backlash to the powerful Occupy Wall Street zeitgeist." An article in Variety reported Chuck Dixon, the co-creator of the Bane character, as saying that Bane is "far more akin to an Occupy Wall Street type if you're looking to cast him politically." Catherine Shoard of the center-left British publication The Guardian claimed the film "is a quite audaciously capitalist vision, radically conservative, radically vigilante, that advances a serious, stirring proposal that the wish-fulfilment of the wealthy is to be championed if they say they want to do good." In contrast, liberal commentator Jonathan Chait opined in New York that "What passes for a right-wing movie these days is The Dark Knight Rises, which submits the rather modest premise that, irritating though the rich may be, actually killing them and taking all their stuff might be excessive." Writing in USA Today, Bryan Alexander called Bane "the ultimate occupier" and reported that Christian Bale was amazed that the script had "foreseen" the Occupy movement.

Nolan has denied the film criticizes the Occupy movement and insists that none of his Batman films are intended to be political: "I've had as many conversations with people who have seen the film the other way round. We throw a lot of things against the wall to see if it sticks. We put a lot of interesting questions in the air, but that's simply a backdrop for the story. What we're really trying to do is show the cracks of society, show the conflicts that somebody would try to wedge open. We're going to get wildly different interpretations of what the film is supporting and not supporting, but it's not doing any of those things. It's just telling a story. If you're saying, 'Have you made a film that's supposed to be criticizing the Occupy Wall Street movement?' – well, obviously, that's not true."

Alternatively, politically-conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh, who has never let the facts get in the way of one of his rants, alleged that the film was biased against 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney due to Bane's name being a homophone for Bain Capital, the financial service company Romney used to head, despite the fact that the character has existed as a major Batman foe since 1993. In response, Nolan said that the comments were "bizarre", while Dixon and Freeman said that the comments were "ridiculous".

Similarly, comparisons between Bane and Bain have also been made by bloggers on both sides of the political spectrum, with Democratic adviser Christopher Lehane noting the similarities between the narratives of the film and the presidential campaign.

This is similar to when some saw a "political agenda" in Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Then neoconservatives criticized the Star Wars film, claiming it has a liberal bias and is a "weak" commentary on the George W. Bush Administration and the U.S./Iraqi war. Some websites went as far as to propose a boycott of the film. However, Lucas defended the film, stating that the film's storyline was written during the Vietnam War, and was influenced by it instead. Lucas did note however that "The parallels between Vietnam and what we're doing in Iraq now are unbelievable." Still, some saw echoes of Bush in the film. In one scene, Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader tells his onetime mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, "If you're not with me, you're my enemy." The line is seen as a reference to Bush's post-Sept. 11th threat "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."

Some of these critics see "secret agendas" in everything even if it was never intended by the director or writer. A few years later they would find similar "secret agendas" in The Muppet Movie. The Dark Knight Rises hardly supports any "right wing agenda". Batman is a character who fights for the underdog and the average citizen of Gotham City, many of whom are looking forward to his return. While Bane tears down the Gotham City elite, and the right wing pundits see this as the goal of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement, he doesn't do it to better the lot of the average citizen. His rhetoric is merely a ploy to gain power by trying to trick and mislead the masses into supporting him. They soon learn that Bane's plan to "occupy" Gotham City benefits only those in his inner circle. At the end of the day he is as well funded as any of the most powerful people he claims to despise and will betray the very people he claims he is there to save.

The Dark Knight Rises opened on Friday, July 20, 2012. Hours before the midnight release, several box office analysts suggested as much as a $198 million domestic opening weekend. However, in the wake of the mass shooting during a midnight screening of the film, Warner Bros. decided to not report further box office figures for the movie until Monday, July 23rd, 2012. As a result, other distributors also delayed the release of their official estimates as well. The shooting is also speculated to have hurt the ticket sales as E! Online reported that a North Carolina audience member had stated that "this theater was kinda empty". Some reports released on July 21st, 2012 said that rival studios estimated that the film grossed $75 million to $77 million on its opening day. Warner Brothers shortly after released a statement to ABC News stating that they delayed the release of their estimates for the opening day total of the film "out of respect for the victims and their families," and added "Warner Bros. Pictures will not be reporting box office numbers for The Dark Knight Rises throughout the weekend. Box office numbers will be released on Monday."

The Dark Knight Rises earned $448,139,099 in North America, and $636,300,000 in other countries, summing up to a worldwide total of $1,084,439,099 and is the third-highest-grossing film of 2012. The film set a worldwide IMAX opening-weekend record with $23.8 million (previously held by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2) and also broke the record for the fastest movie to make over $50 million in IMAX theatres. On the 2012 Labor Day weekend, it became the third film distributed by Warner Bros. and the thirteenth film in cinematic history to cross the $1 billion mark. The film also became the second movie (after Avatar) to reach $100 million in worldwide IMAX grosses.

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