Update 3/28: The official opening number of “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” is $166.1 million due to lower than expected ticket sales on Sunday. It still breaks a lot of records, but ‘Deathly Hallows’ remains WB’s biggest opening of all time.
As the debate rages online between critics and fanboys, the numbers are in for “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice.” And while Warner Bros. might have been reeling from the reviews, they can at least take a a bit of solace from the numbers that have rolled in.
Zack Snyder‘s blockbuster earned a massive $170 million across the Easter weekend, which is well above the studio’s own estimates, and slightly below the $180 million ballpark prognosticators had been predicting. But the figure is very healthy, breaking a few records including Best March Opening (previously held by “The Hunger Games” with $152 million), Best Easter Opening weekend (previously held by “Furious 7” with $147 million), Best Spring Opening (also previously held by “The Hunger Games”). Oh yeah, it’s also Warner Bros.’ biggest opening ever, edging out the $169 million of “Harry Potter And the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.”
In terms of comic-book adaptations, it’s the fourth-highest bow ever, besting the $160 million haul of “The Dark Knight Rises” but falling short of the $174 million of “Iron Man 3.” It’s also the best opening of any Batman or DC Comics movie ever. So, all good stuff, right? Well, the real tale of this movie will be how well it holds in its second weekend. The film has earned a B-grade Cinemascore, the same as “Green Lantern,” “Catwoman,” and “Batman Returns” (by comparison, all the Christopher Nolan Batman movies landed an A). It’s also below the A- that “Man Of Steel” scored. In short, audiences weren’t entirely over the moon with the movie, which means word of mouth is not going to be strong. That said, its global opening weekend bow, $424.1 million, is the fourth highest ever, so if domestic box office drops off in later weekends, the film could perform strong overseas and make up the difference.
So, where is ‘Batman v Superman’ headed financially? Generally speaking, films that open this big usually clear $400 million domestic; however, the only films to debut over $150 million and not hit that mark are “Spider-Man 3” (which had a much higher Rotten Tomatoes score of 63%) and the aforementioned ‘Deathly Hallows Part 2’ which dropped a staggering 72% in its second weekend. And that’s really the question: Is ‘Dawn Of Justice’ a one-weekend phenomenon, or can WB continue pushing the movie toward the numbers (at least $800 million worldwide) it needs to make to be successful? We’ll see, but ‘Dawn Of Justice’ will hit $500 million worldwide in just a few days, thanks to the $254 million the picture earned internationally this weekend, with $57.3 million coming from China alone.
The only other movie to go into wide release this weekend was Universal‘s “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2,” which earned $18 million. The sequel is clearly not going to be the $368 million worldwide grossing phenomenon of its predecessor, but seems poised to clear a small profit, and spin forever on cable where it will quietly become a steady earner.
Elsewhere, “Allegiant” took a -67% tumble from its disappointing opening last weekend, to add $9.5 million to its domestic haul. This one doesn’t look like it’s going to be sticking around for long. “Zootopia” continues to hang on strong, adding another $23 million, plus $42.5 million internationally. It’s nearly at $700 million worldwide helping to bring Disney over the $1 billion mark for 2016 already — it’s the fastest the studio has hit that benchmark ever. And “Deadpool” is still in the top 10, nearly at $350 million domestically, and has hit $738 million worldwide. Wanna hear ouch? Sacha Baron Cohen‘s “The Brothers Grimsby” plummeted a massive -92.3% in its third weekend and has fallen out of the top 20 already.
Meanwhile, in limited release “I Saw The Light” landed $50,000 from five screens for a $10,000 PSA, “Born To Be Blue” scored $47,340 on three screenings for a $15,000 PSA, while the animated “April And The Extraordinary World” earned $12,000 from a single screen.
1. “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” — $170 million
2. “Zootopia” — $23.1 million ($240 mil.)
3. “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” — $18.1 million
4. “Miracles From Heaven” — $9.5 million ($34.1 mil.)
5. “The Divergent Series: Allegiant” — $9.5 million ($46.6 mil.)
6. “10 Cloverfield Lane” — $6 million ($56 mil.)
7. “Deadpool” — $5 million ($349.4 mil.)
8. “London Has Fallen” — $2.9 million ($55.6 mil.)
9. “Hello, My Name Is Doris” — $1.5 million ($3.1 mil.)
10. “Eye In The Sky” — $1 million ($1.7 mil.)