Blockbuster movies have gotten way too damn long. Just about all of them run for well over two hours, and that trend is becoming even more prominent thanks to The Batman, which reportedly runs for two hours and 47 minutes before the credits even start.
The Caped Crusader’s newest adventure, which stars Robert Pattinson, will be the first superhero movie of 2022 when it’s released on March 4, and should have the theaters mostly to itself. In fact, the next big movie set to come after it is Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, which won’t be released until April 15.
It is technically true that a longer movie means fewer showings in theaters, but it’s hard to say if that will have a negative impact on The Batman’s box office numbers. The proliferation of massive multiplexes means that length often doesn’t hinder Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. In fact, nine of the top 10 highest grossing movies of all time have runtimes over two hours, with the latest addition being Spider-Man: No Way Home — which has a runtime of 2:28 and is currently the eighth-highest grossing movie ever.
And while The Batman will be the longest of the character’s solo films (the longest one he’s in is still the four hour long Zack Snyder’s Justice League), both The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises managed to pull in over a billion dollars worldwide with runtimes over two-and-a-half hours.
Only director Matt Reeves can say for sure why The Batman needed to be nearly three-hours long with credits, but one possible explanation is that the cast is stacked with stars, including Colin Farrell as The Penguin, Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as The Ridler, John Turturro as Carmine Falcone, Andy Serkis as Alfred, and Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon. (And that’s not even everyone.) While all those stars surely necessitate quite a bit of screen time, the least director Reeves could have done was give us a good old fashioned intermission.