Saturday, April 2, 2016

'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' opens with $166 million in the US and $422.5 million worldwide

After years of hype, anticipation, discussion and controversy, Warner Bros. finally unleashed Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice onto the world last weekend. Going into the weekend, the big question was the impact of reviews on the film's box office total. Critics were not kind to Dawn of Justice, handing the film a 29% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 44 on Metacritic, scores that paled in comparison to even some of the worst superhero films in recent memory. With tracking all over the board, how would audiences respond? Would there be a huge drop? Or could Batman v Superman overcome all of the negative buzz to become one of the biggest hits of the year? The answer was somewhere in the middle.

Despite some fans and media members spinning the opening weekend as disappointing, there's no way that Batman v Superman's opening can be chalked up as a loss. From the start, Zack Snyder's superhero mash-up was utterly monstrous. The film grossed $27.7 million on Thursday night, blowing away Man of Steel and even Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron. Bolstered by the fact that Friday was a holiday and the start of Spring Break for many kids and teens, Dawn of Justice smashed records with an $81.5 million Friday opening. That was good enough for the fifth highest opening day of all time as BvS busted into 4,242 theaters. Saturday was another solid showing, as the film added $50.6 million to its total. Finally, the film ended the weekend on Sunday with $33.7 million and a final opening frame of $166 million.

For me, it passed the bar that it needed to hit to quantify as a success- it topped Deadpool's opening weekend. In my view, if the showdown between the two biggest heroes of all time couldn't defeat the Merc with a Mouth, Warner Bros. would need to do some serious soul-searching. But as it stands, Batman v Superman opened with the seventh biggest weekend of all time, the largest Spring debut, the largest March debut and the biggest Easter weekend opening. By all counts, Batman v Superman is a solid hit in the United States.

Overseas, BvS was an even bigger smash. In its opening day-and-date frame, the film made $256.5 million overseas, for a total worldwide opening of $424 million. The flick passed $500 million quickly into the week and is playing well as a rather standard blockbuster. As it currently stands, the movie is just shy of $600 million worldwide. In all likelihood, Dawn of Justice will fly past $700 and $800 million and come close to reaching that magical $1 billion mark that qualifies mega-blockbusters as true successes. The weekly numbers were good, with a strong $15 million on Monday and decent holds throughout the week. And yet, there were signs of major trouble.

To start things off, the film received a "B" Cinemascore. You're probably thinking "Eh, that's not bad." But wait until you hear the other superhero films that received that score- Catwoman and Green Lantern. That's never the company you want to keep in the comic book realm. Next, Batman v Superman had the biggest Friday to Sunday drop of all time. Chalk that up to skewed Friday numbers thanks to the Thursday night grosses or some other technicality, but no matter how you spin it, that is a really bad sign. Finally, the second weekend numbers are starting to roll in and.........well, it's not looking good.

I'll be back with a final analysis eventually, but it's looking like a drop around 70%. That's rough. No film wants that. Despite the massive opening, Batman v Superman could end up falling short of Deadpool in the US. It might not hit $350 million. It's definitely not hitting $400 million. For a film starring Batman and Superman, that can't be what Warner Bros. was looking for. I'll have more on this soon, but this is definitely gonna hurt the future of the DC Cinematic Universe. We could be witnessing some seismic shifts in the coming weeks, even though Justice League is set to begin filming in just a few short days. WB needs to make some decisions and make them fast. The storm isn't here yet, but it's on the horizon.

Image Credits: Screen Rant, Joblo

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