Friday, July 25, 2008

Ignoring Irony, Rabid Sports Fans Call Dark Knight Fans, "Nerds"

Last week The Dark Knight, the latest film in the Batman series, earned over $18.5 million in midnight showings its opening night. The movie was shown in an unprecedented 3,040 screens across the country at the stroke of midnight. For many of the people who were able to see the movie in the wee hours of the morning that meant standing in line for hours to get tickets, something some people have begun calling "nerdy."

In it's opening weekend, The Dark Knight set a record for the biggest opening gross for a film ever, earning $158.4 million. Chris Martinez was one of the fans who waited in line for hours just to buy a ticket to the midnight showing.

"I was here at 6 o'clock Wednesday night with my friends, so basically 30 hours in line," said Martinez still in the Joker make-up he had been wearing for almost two days. "I'm used to sitting at my computer playing World of Warcraft for almost that long anyway, no biggie."

But amazingly some people think waiting in line for hours to buy a ticket to a movie based on a comic book is for "nerds," "dorks" or "losers." John McKernan, who describes himself as a "die-hard Philly sports fan" says only a geek would wait in line for hours dressed as a movie character. But amazingly enough, McKernan admits to painting his entire body green and standing topless in Lincoln Financial Field in near freezing temperatures for an Eagles game.

"Yo, that's completely different though - that's sports" said McKernan. "You can't be a loser and like sports, it's just not possible. It's been proven, like scientifically proven."

In fact, it hasn't been proven. And a recent study by Nina Von Dooshen, professor and head of the Sociology department at the University of Pennsylvania, shows the actions of many sports fans closely resemble the habits of the people who would attend a midnight showing of The Dark Knight, or even the latest Comic-Con.

"It's really amazing when you look at it because the actions of sports fans and the actions of fans of movies like The Dark Knight, or fanboys as we call them, are almost identical," said Von Dooshen. "We have sports fans at an extreme level painting their bodies and standing in extremely cold temperature and on a lesser level wearing their favorite player's jersey. And we have fanboys, or girls as the case may be, dressing up as a character like Batman or maybe seeing a movie at 3a.m. It's quite fascinating, the two groups are really more alike then they might imagine."

But while Von Dooshen says the two groups are essentially exhibiting the same fanatical habits, McKernan and Martinez disagree.

"Those guys are just obnoxious, drunk and obnoxious, we're not like them," said Martinez. "It's not like we're starting fights with people who are coming to the theater to see Mama Mia!"

McKernan added, "That Von Dooshen chick doesn't know what she's talking about 'cause I ain't never gonna wait in line no 30 hours for birds tickets. Plus you gotta buy them online now anyway."

Rico Savage, The Phunyun's entertainment reporter, cannot be reached by phone (credit issues) but can be reached by e-mail at

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