Batman Day is celebrated each year on the third Saturday in September: honoring the films, TV shows and comics in the Caped Crusader’s 83-year existence. This year, Cinemark theatres are showing three Bat-sterpieces in most U.S. states on Sept. 17.
Fire up the Batmobile and head to the theater!
- Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) — 2:15 p.m. This big-screen extension of the beloved “Batman: The Animated Series,” finds Bruce Wayne/Batman taking on a new threat in Gotham — the mysterious and ghoulish Phantasm. Which of Bruce’s acquaintances hides behind the shroud and why are they targeting some of the city’s most powerful people? Did you know? “Mask of the Phantasm” was a commercial flop upon its release but has generated a fierce cult following in the following decades. Cinema news outlet ScreenRant named it the best animated Batman movie of all-time just this year.
- Batman (1989) — 4:30 p.m. It’s the live-action film that truly began Batman’s silver screen reign (though it’s not the first live action “Batman” movie). Director Tim Burton puts extra goth in Gotham all while centering Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) against his arch-nemesis, the Joker (played by a properly over-the-top Jack Nicholson). Some of the series’ most signature aesthetics originate with 1989’s “Batman,” as does a soundtrack by Prince. “Batdance,” anyone?
- Batman Returns (1992) — 7:25 p.m. This year marks the 30th anniversary of this triple-header of the Bat, the Bird and the Cat. In his second (and so far final) appearance, Keaton reprises his role as Batman and takes on not one but two villains, the nefarious mayoral candidate Penguin (Danny DeVito) and the mischievous bombshell Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer). “Batman Returns” — sometimes cheekily considered a Christmas movie — is the final entry by Burton in the franchise.
These Batman Day special releases will be screened at the Cinemark 20 in Merriam, Kansas.
Tickets are on sale now at participating theatres.
Batman in the movies
All-in-all there have been 15 major-release Batman films, in addition to at least 49 direct-to-video outings.
In a ranking based on critical reviews, 2008’s “The Dark Knight” is consider the “top” Batman film, with a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s followed by 2017’s animated “The Lego Batman Movie” (second), “The Dark Knight Rises” (third), “The Batman” (2022, fourth), and “Batman Begins” (fifth). Entertainment and gaming site IGN also ranked the Christopher Nolan-directed “Dark Knight” as the best batman movie this year.