Midnight tickets for The Dark Knight Rises, the latest Batman film by Christopher Nolan, have already sold out- some 6 months before the movie is officially released. Fans have already snapped up the entire batch of tickets for the New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco midnight screenings of the movie on July 20, 2012.

Movie ticket retailer Fandango had begun quietly selling advanced tickets for the IMAX screenings of the film - easily the most anticipated of the year - but when word got out, fans rushed to land their all-important tickets. It is not clear whether the cinemas in question will open up further screens, given the obvious demand to see the film at the earliest possible opportunity. New York's AMC Loews Lincoln Square and AMC Loews Universal City have always been a favourite among hard core cinemas-goers because of their authentic 70mm IMAX format. Only cinemas boasting this technology screened the six-minute prologue of The Dark Knight Rises last month - a trailer that gave fans their first glimpse of the terrifying villain Bane, played by Tom Hardy. Speaking this week to Entertainment Weekly, director Nolan admitted he is beginning to feel the weight of expectation surrounding The Dark Knight Rises, saying, "I can tell you the truth because I'm done with it - I felt immense pressure! And I think it's a good pressure, because you owe it to the films - and the people's expectations - to make it work".

The movie will once again star Christian Bale as The Caped Crusader, with Michael Caine and Gary Oldman also reprising their roles from 'The Dark Knight'. Newcomers to the cast include Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, and of course Hardy.