UPDATE III (March 28): Actual U.S.-Canada weekend figures came in on Monday, March 28 for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The haul was a few million less but still large, at $166 million, according to Exhibitor Relations.
That means the movie was the seventh-best opening weekend of all time and No. 2 Warner Bros. opening, with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part II retaining the crown at $169.2 million.
ORIGINAL POST (March 27): For Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, all the bad reviews were like bullets bouncing off Superman’s chest. The superhero movie had an estimated opening weekend in the U.S. and Canada of $170.1 million.
It was the sixth-best opening weekend of all time, unadjusted for inflation, entertainment research and data company Exhibitor Relations said in a post on Twitter. It was also the biggest Warner Bros. opening ever, Exhibitor Relations said.
The development was a welcome piece of good news for Warner Bros. The studio had a terrible 2015 at the box office, so having any hit would be a relief. However, Batman v Superman also represents the studio’s attempt to catch up to rival Marvel Studios and its extended fictional universe of superhero films.
Batman v Superman specifically sets up a Justice League movie scheduled to go into production next month for a November 2017 release.
The Justice League of America is DC Comics equivalent to Marvel’s Avengers super hero group. (The JLA was first and was a revamp of an even earlier group, the Justice Society of America.) Marvel has produced its own movies since 2008, including Avengers films in 2012 and 2015.
Batman v Superman, besides its title characters, includes Wonder Woman as well as cameo appearances by other characters who’ll be part of the Justice League.
The movie had some setbacks. It originally was set to come out in July 2015. Warners pushed it back to May 2016 but retreated after Marvel announced it was going to have the third Captain America movie in the same date.
That film ended up being Captain America: Civil War, which is almost like another Avengers film and will bring Spider-Man into Marvel’s film universe for the first time.
Then, came the reviews. Batman v Superman received so many pans, it has a 29 percent rating (as of this morning) on the Rotten Tomatoes website.
Variety has estimated Batman v Superman will need worldwide ticket sales of $800 million to break even. Given all the hype, it probably needs a $1 billion box office to be seen as a success. People likely be watching carefully how much next weekend’s box office falls off for BvS.
Regardless, after all the setbacks, Warner Bros. executives presumably are breathing easier about the expensive movie.
UPDATE: Batman v Superman’s estimated worldwide box office currently is $424.1 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
UPDATE II (7:50 p.m., New York time): Warner Bros. executives took a victory lap later Sunday, including a quote about there’s “a disconnect between critics and audiences,” according to ComicBookMovie.com.
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