‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice‘ is currently tracking to open with $154 million in its opening weekend, which, with the help of Batman and Wonder Woman, will place it above the 2013 opening of ‘Man of Steel’, which opened with $116.6M. (‘MoS’ wound up with a $291M domestic take.) Further, some estimates predict ‘Batman V Superman’ will finish with $380M by the end of its theatrical run.
Based strictly on social media activity, ‘Batman V Superman’ is trending higher than last year’s monster hits ‘Furious 7’ and ‘Jurassic World’ at this same point in their media cycle. However, this movie is tracking “significantly softer” than ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ was at this same point last year and despite that movie’s nearly $459M domestic gross, it was considered a disappointment by parent company Disney. Considering that Warner Brothers is already well into developing a shared universe franchise around this film, with ‘Suicide Squad’ due later this year and ‘Wonder Woman’ already filming for a 2017 release, this could be worrisome.
The major factors that could be working against ‘Batman V Superman’ are the fact that Batman is already an established box office commodity and his latest series of films isn’t exactly absent from mainstream audience’s minds and that it’s up against a slew of other super hero movies this year.
First of all, Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy was almost universally acclaimed, with Heath Ledger winning a posthumous Academy Award for his role as The Joker in the second movie, ‘The Dark Knight’, the highest honor ever bestowed upon a comic book movie. Has enough time passed for non-comic obsessed moviegoers to let those films go and accept a new Batman and accompanying continuity?
The other factor that may diminish excitement for ‘Batman V Superman’ is that it’s going against ‘Deadpool’, ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’, ‘Captain America: Civil War’ (which in many ways is seen by many as a third Avengers movie) and to a lesser degree ‘Doctor Strange’. The Marvel machine is charging right along. Despite a fairly weak opening last year, ‘Ant-Man’ ended up doing quite well, wrapping up its domestic theatrical run with $180M. So despite cries of super hero fatigue, it seems audiences are still open to these colorful action flicks. But just how open?
Stepping out of the nerdverse, many laypersons barely know there’s a difference between Marvel and DC, much less the different studios that produce these flicks. Could the competition really strike a fatal blow against this major super hero slugfest?
What do you think? Will ‘Batman V Superman’ firmly establish Warner Brothers’ DC franchise as a box office power house? Or should they worry about the competition undercutting the enthusiasm from this new brand?
‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ directed by Zack Snyder and starring Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter, and Jesse Eisenberg hits theaters on March 25, 2016.
Source: Comic Book Resources