According to Warner Bros. head Toby Emmerich, a shorter cut of The Batman was originally shown to test audiences — but it didn’t perform nearly as well as the longer theatrical cut. The final version of the film clocked in at just under three hours, but as it turns out, the length was perfectly appropriate to viewers.
Speaking with Deadline, Emmerich explained that the longer cut — running at 2 hours and 55 minutes — fully kept theaudiences’ attention. “The last time I went to a premiere in Alice Tully Hall was Seven, and on Tuesday night, Batman reminded me of that: The audience was rapt.” This is sort of unconventional, considering most producers end up going with the shorter version after a film’s test screening. Longer iterations of the movie are typically reserved for a director’s cut.
Matt Reeves’ Batman adaptation is the longest solo movie starring the Caped Crusader. While such a hefty runtime might turn off potential viewers in another genre, DC fans were excited that the film would give proper time to flesh out Bruce Wayne’s story.
The Batman stars Robert Pattinson as a more eccentric, more brooding Bruce Wayne than we’ve seen before on screen. He’s joined by Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman, Colin Farrell as Penguin, Paul Dano as Riddler, Jeffrey Wright as Jim Gordon, and Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth. The film debut last Friday, earning $134 million at the domestic box office over the weekend. That’s the best opening weekend of 2022, as well as Warner Bros.’ pandemic era-best.
You can catch The Batman in theaters now.
12 Movies That Changed After Their Test Screenings
Whether it’s a complaint about a long runtime or a desire for a more satisfying ending, these audiences made their opinions heard. Here are 12 successful films whose test screenings shaped them into what they are today.