BAT-MANIA hit Swindon yesterday with fans descending on a special 9am screening of the final instalment in the blockbuster trilogy.
The Dark Knight Rises opened to mixed reviews but applause as the credits went up sounded the audience’s verdict at Cineworld, in Shaw Ridge.
Fans got up as early as 5am and took a day off work for the town’s first showing of the caped crusader’s swansong.
The film had been panned by some critics – provoking a furious response online – after its premiere earlier this week.
But the audience in Swindon agreed with the Adver’s 9/10 rating yesterday – and ranked it even higher.
Corrine Stone, who wore her Batman T-shirt, took the day off work at a charity shop and got up at 5am to see the film.
The 21-year-old, of Grange Park, said: “I got up early because I had that Christmas feeling. “I was so excited during the film I was shaking at one point.
“It blew my mind, I would have happily come to a midnight screening if there was one. I can’t wait to see it again.”
Dominic Taylor, 27, who has just returned to Devizes from travelling, was also blown away by director Christopher Nolan’s final wrap.
He said: “It was incredible, absolutely incredible. It was a masterclass by Christopher Nolan in how to do a superhero movie.”
Dominic’s friend Stefan Williams, a 24-year-old retail manager, also got up at 7am to make the early screening from Devizes.
He said: “It was the best way to spend a day off, it was just amazing. “The production quality and acting were unbelievable. Christian Bale and Michael Caine were absolutely brilliant.”
Daniel Robinson, a 21-year-old student from Freshbrook, was already looking forward to a possible spin-off.
He said: “It was the best Batman ever. It had everything. It had a big twist with the ending opening up a new area of movies the can move on to.
“I booked my ticket last week and I wasn’t disappointed. I would have come if it had been at 3am.”
Martin Jordan, a 33 -year-old ICT worker for the RAF, watched the film while he waited for his girlfriend to have her hair done – and he wasn’t disappointed.
He said: “I give it 10 out of 10. It was completely different from other superhero films with more of an adult theme.”
Cineworld held the early screening to respond to demand for a film tipped to overtake Avatar as the biggest box office hit ever.
General manager John Keil said: “There is always a big interest in the Batman films and this one is going to be no different.
“The audience were excited and a few of them mentioned that they had taken the day off work to be here. We do early screenings for all of the big movies.
“The next one we are expecting which will the same effect is The Hobbit, which is out just before Christmas.”
Meanwhile, FBI sources have named resident James Holmes, 24, as the man suspected in a mass shooting at a US showing of The Dark Knight Rises yesterday. Twelve people were shot dead at Aurora, Colorado. President Obama described the shooting as horrific and tragic.