Despite being nearly universally panned by critics (29% on Rotten Tomatoes), ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’ raked in a record $170 million, making it the largest March opening ever, topping the first ‘The Hunger Games’ which took in $152M in 2012 AND Warner Brothers’ largest opening ever, topping ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2”s $169.1M in 2011. (Ironically, it was the ‘Potter’ franchise that WB had spent years banking on at the expense of the DC Comics brand.) This was also the biggest Easter weekend opening, topping last year’s ‘Furious 7’ which opened to $147.1M. And finally, this also marked the best DC Comics-based opening, topping ‘The Dark Knight Rises” $160.8M.
‘Batman V Superman’ couldn’t quite topple three of Marvel’s openings, with ‘Avengers’, ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ and ‘Iron Man 3’ besting it, but still WB has nothing to cry about… yet.
The real test comes next weekend. Despite awful reviews, film goers were determined to experience this EVENT– the first big screen match up between the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight, with the added bonus of the film debuts of Aquaman, Cyborg, The Flash and most importantly Wonder Woman. Fans wanted to experience the movie and make up their own minds as to whether they liked it or not.
However, not everyone liked it and it has a respectable, but not-glowing B CinemaScore ranking. It’s the more casual film goers that are #1 more likely to skip the crowded opening weekend and #2 pay more attention to reviews and word-of-mouth. But there’s practically nothing opening next weekend, so ‘Batman V Superman’ should easily take the top spot for at least one more week.
And ultimately, ‘Batman V Superman’ may follow in the footsteps of “critic proof” movies like the ‘Transformers’ franchise. Every one of them has been reviled by the press, but each one seems to make more money than the last.
‘Batman V Superman’ has one last uphill battle to fight: its astronomical budget. It reportedly cost about $250M to make, and marketing could likely double that number. Should the film hold up, it should have no problem making that back. But that’s where the nasty reviews could come into play, so we’ll just have to wait and see…
Here are the numbers:
- Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (Warner Brothers) – $170.1M
- Zootopia (Disney) – $23.1M
- My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (Universal) – $18.1M
- Miracles From Heaven (TriStar), ‘The Divergent Series: Allegiant’ (Lionsgate) – (tie) $9.5M
‘Zootopia’ has racked up $240M and should zip past $300 with no effort.
‘The Divergent Series: Allegiant’ took a 61% nosedive, which was sadly in keeping with predictions as this YA franchise appears to be running out of steam. (There’s still one more to go, though!)
Check back next week, but nothing major is opening, so expect little movement and for ‘Batman V Superman’ to come out on top again. The one switch up may actually come for low-budget faith-based drama ‘Miracles From Heaven’ which will likely get tagged out by another faith-based flick, ‘God’s Not Dead 2’.
Source: Box Office Mojo