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Fathom Sets Its Widest Rollout Ever for ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’

Fathom Events has booked 1,075 U.S. cinemas — its widest rollout of all time — for the big-screen debut of the animated film “Batman: The Killing Joke” on July 25, Variety has learned exclusively.

The graphic novel-turned-movie will be shown for a single night at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. This event reunites “Batman: The Animated Series” executive producer Bruce Timm with actors Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill, who are reprising their roles as Batman and the Joker, respectively.

The showings will also include a special introduction from Hamill, a never-before-seen documentary about the actor and his passion for this project, and a behind-the-scenes look at how the Joker’s song and dance number was recreated for this feature.

Fathom specializes in presenting live events for theatrical chains and is co-owned by AMC Entertainment, Cinemark Holdings and Regal Entertainment Group. It’s screened “The Sound of Music 50th Anniversary,” “Finding Noah: An Adventure of Faith” and “Ed Sheeran: Jumpers for Goalposts.”

“Killing Joke” will play on 215 more screens than the previous record-holder, the June 8 presentation of the original “Ghostbusters” at 860 locations.

Warner Bros. distribution chief Jeff Goldstein noted that the movie is based on DC Comics’ 1988 graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore, which provided the origin story for the Joker as a supervillain.

“It’s been a bestseller for 28 years,” he added.

Tom Lucas, VP of studio relations at Fathom, said the level of interest among exhibitors exceeded expectations since the screenings were announced on June 17. “There’s a level of excitement that’s been generated because of the iconic nature of the film,” he added.

It will also be released digitally on July 26 and via DVD and Blu-ray on Aug. 2.

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