By Brian Conlin, email@example.com
4:12 PM EDT, July 19, 2012
Hollywood Theater general manager Larry Bell didn't need the box office projections to tell him that the final movie in director Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy would be huge.
That's why Bell started selling advance tickets to the Arbutus theater's midnight premier of"The Dark Knight Rises"on Friday on June 20, the first day his computer system would allow him to do so.
"We have been selling steady," said Bell, the general manager of the theater at 5506 Oregon Ave. since 2004. "I hope it's going to be big."
Bell said he has reviewed projections that the movie will bring in $180 million but is skeptical of the number.
"I got a feeling that's a lowball," Bell said.
Bell cited the projections he received for the May blockbuster "The Avengers" as an indication of how far off the mark they can be.
"They projected $160 million for 'The Avengers,' and it ended up being over $200 million," Bell said.
Bell adds a caution about just how well the film, starring Christian Bale will do, saying, "You never know about the movie-going public."
But he is optimistic as the movie opens this week.
"I'm thinking I'm going to do some business on 'The Dark Knight Rises,' " he said.
Bell had no need to haul in extra popcorn, candy or soda, he said, because he always ensures that he has enough concessions to accommodate his customers.
Nor does he have to have any special events planned for the July 20 opening.
In 1966, he had the Batmobile and actress Lee Meriwether, who played Catwoman in the 1966 film "Batman," at the theater for the movie's opening.
"The movie itself is going to say it all," Bell said.