It became a great box office success and won a lot of critical acclaim. It was dubbed as the fifth-highest grosser in history at the time of its release. It earned over $400 million at the box office. The film won an Academy Award and won several nominations at the Saturn Awards and a Golden Globe nomination.
There are many interesting stories before the film went on the floor. Even though Tim Burton was hired as a director in 1986, the film’s shoot got a go-ahead only after the success of his ‘Beetlejuice’ in 1988. Before Michael Keaton was cast as Batman, several A-list actors were considered for the role. Keaton as a choice for Batman’s role had stirred a lot of controversy as at that time Keaton had become typecast as a comic actor and critics very doubtful if he could portray a serious role. Jack Nicholson, who essayed the role of the Joker, demanded a high salary and a portion of the box office returns and dictated his shooting schedule. Filmed at Pinewood Studios for four months, the film’s budget shot up from $30 million to $48 million.
Before Batman’s release, a modern cultural phenomenon known as ‘Batmania’ caught up with the public. There was Batman merchandise everywhere. Over $750 million was earned in Batman merchandise alone. The summer of 1989 was called the summer of the Batman. In The New York Observer, David Handelman categorised it as a ‘high concept film’ and said ‘ it is less movie than a corporate behemoth’.
Other significant events that took place on June 23 over the years are:
930: The Alpingi, the world’s oldest parliament was established in Iceland.
1775: The first Regatta was held on the Thames river in England.
1784: Thirteen year old, Edward Warren takes the Ist US balloon flight.
1868: ‘Type-writer’ patented by Christopher Latham Sholes.
1894: At the initiative of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the International Olympic Committee is founded in Sorbonne, Paris.
1927: All India Radio’s first broadcasting service began today by using privately owned transmitters at Mumbai.
1933: The thirty-five and a half year run of Don McNeill’s Pepper Pot begins on NBC.
1949: The Harvard Medical School gets its first twelve women graduates.
1950: Women in Switzerland are refused voting rights by its’ Parliament.
1956: Gamal Abdul Nasser is elected as the president of Egypt.
1958: Women ministers accepted by Dutch Reformed Church.
1961: The Antarctic Treaty came into force on this day. It ensured that Antarctica was to be used for peaceful purposes and international co-operation in scientific research and that it did not become the scene or object of any international discord.
1972: Allowing their currencies to fluctuate independent of the British pound, forty-five countries leave the Sterling Area.
1974: The first extraterrestrial message was sent from Earth into Space on this day.
1980: The first solar-powered radio conversation from coast-to-coast took place.
1982: An all-time low temperature of – 117 degrees F was recorded at the South Pole.
1990: Moldavia declared its independence.
1992: The corridor opening to Bangladesh led to the ’Tin Bigha Day’ protest in India.
1994: South Africa reclaims its seat in the UN, which it had lost because of its’ apartheid policy.
2004: Bob Dylan accepts an honorary degree in music bestowed upon him by Scotland’s oldest university, University of St. Andrews.
2013: India wins the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy in cricket after defeating England.
Text by Tasneem Dhinojwala