Citizens For Batman arranged meet-ups tonight in Chicago and New York. /Film reader Mike Wolf sends in this report from tonight’s Dark Knight viral event in Chicago. Photos thanks to PizzaPaul on CFB.org.

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I just got back from the Citizens for Batman rally in Chicago and it was very anti-climatic. Rather than having a real rally where someone was preaching support for batman or getting people to chant for the dark knight, swag (which was cool) was given out and then they delivered pizza.

After which, everyone began to ran as clues that most of us never saw were given out telling us to go north or south depending on who you followed. What ensued was a mad dash through upper and lower Wacker drive, admittedly a great memory despite the end result. People were hoping barriers, jumping 10 -15 feet from upper to lower Wacker and sprinting all out for the next clue or what we hoped would be something worth our efforts.

As would be expected, Chicago’s finest showed up to try to control the crowd of over 200 people and eventually everyone made their way to the Sears Tower. This is where things fell apart. A message was left on a radio that someone found, or so we were told, that said to look north. Everyone did and for an hour plus everyone watched as a light flickered on and off. No one working the event would give out any information on whether or not there would be a reason to stay or if the problems would be fixed. Many disgruntled fans left before the problems were solved and the bat symbol finally came into view.

Do not be fooled by the video on citizensforbatman.org of the Chicago location, as of 11:15 pm CT it did not look anywhere near as good as it does currently on the site. Maybe they fixed it even more after I left but after already waiting for an hour and half at that location as well as having run my ass off through the streets, I had given up on this poorly executed event.

This viral marketing campaign has easily been one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had while preparing for the release of a movie and if things would have gone as planned tonight, it would have been cool but not great. The biggest issue was the lack of communication between the organizers and the fans. I understand not breaking the fourth wall or giving away too much but when things are not working someone needs to let people know what is going on. All that being said, the swag is great and running through the streets of “Gotham” was an exciting experience. The end result could have been better and considering that we heard New York went off without a hitch, wouldn’t be nice if the real Gotham City of the film would have gotten a better effort?

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