Weekend Box Office: The Dark Knight Rises Again

The big-screen Batman/Superman crossover event may have barely met its domestic box office expectations (which were admittedly huge), but it blew its predicted overseas totals out of the water!

With Disney and the Marvel machine quickly pumping out cookie-cutter box office hits one after the other, Warner Bros. has a lot riding on its similar DC Cinematic Universe. If these movies are truly going to play in the same big leagues, WB and DC need a major hit. Fortunately for them, they got one this weekend.

Despite brutal reviews from critics (what do those fools know, anyway?), ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice‘ absolutely killed it at the box office this weekend. From 4,242 locations across North America, the 151-minute superhero flick met its studio predictions with $170.1 million, giving it a huge $40,099 average per-screen. Overseas, the ‘Man of Steel’ follow-up was expected to gross north of $130 million. What wasn’t expected was how far north those actual totals would come in. The international box office closed with $254 million, which adds up to an unbelievable $424.1 million three-day worldwide debut. The domestic numbers made this the biggest March opening ever (ousting the $152.5 million premiere for ‘The Hunger Games’) and Warner Bros.’ biggest debut (barely topping the $169.1 million for the final ‘Harry Potter’ picture). Meanwhile, the international numbers make it the fifth-biggest debut ever; and the global totals make it the fourth-biggest debut of all time. Warner Bros. and DC just found the success that they desperately needed.

While adults and older families were off watching Batman and Superman duke it out, younger families were still heading out to see Disney’s smash hit ‘Zootopia‘. In the fourth week of its theatrical run, the animated film pulled in another $23.1 million. Its domestic total now sits at $240.5 million, while its worldwide total resides at $696.7 million.

Slated as perfect counter-programming, Nia Vardalos’ ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2‘ opened in the #3 spot. Produced on a budget of $18 million, it opened to $18 million domestically and another $8 million overseas. The relatively low-budget picture isn’t going to gross the hundreds of millions that the original movie earned, but it will still make for a successful follow-up.

Last weekend, ‘Miracles from Heaven‘ had a pretty good third-place debut. Thanks to the topical Easter holiday, the faith-based picture saw a solid holdover. Falling 36% in attendance, the $13 million Jennifer Garner movie added another $9.5 million to its run. After 12 days, it has grossed $34.4 million domestically.

Tied fourth place, last weekend’s big, shiny YA turd ‘The Divergent Series: Allegiant‘ also ended its second week with $9.5 million. Dropping more than 67% week-over-week, ‘Allegiant’ took a gigantic hit. Produced on a $110 million budget, the film’s $46.6 million ten-day total comes as a blow. Luckily for Summit Entertainment, the movie has grossed $71.8 million internationally, for a worldwide total of $118.4 million. When the box office actuals are announced later today, we’ll know which movie (this or ‘Miracles’) really landed within the Top 5.

When a $170 million blockbuster gets released, the box office Top 10 looks awfully top-heavy, which causes the lower end to become diluted with titles that barely crack $1 million. The limited release indie ‘Hello, My Name Is Doris‘ starring Sally Field crept into the #9 spot with $1.7 million. Playing on 488 screens, the comedy’s low per-screen average of $3,486 was actually better than five other movies in the Top 10.

Rounding out the Top 10 was the military drone thriller ‘Eye in the Sky‘, which made $1 million from 123 screens. That equates to a solid $8,140 per-screen average.

While the mostly negative reviews for ‘Batman v. Superman’ couldn’t make a dent in its box office, those for the Hank Williams bio-pic ‘I Saw the Light‘ seemed to. Playing on five screens, the drama finished with $50,464 and a per-screen average of $10,093.

Top 10:

1. ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ (Warner Bros.) – $170,100,000

2. ‘Zootopia’ (Buena Vista) – $23,138,000

3. ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2’ (Universal) – $18,120,000

4. ‘Miracles from Heaven’ (TriStar) – $9,500,000

4. ‘The Divergent Series: Allegiant’ (Summit) – $9,500,000

6. ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ (Paramount) – $6,000,000

7. ‘Deadpool’ (Fox) – $5,000,000

8. ‘London Has Fallen’ (Focus) – $2,926,000

9. ‘Hello, My Name Is Doris’ (Roadside) – $1,700,925

10. ‘Eye in the Sky’ (Bleeker) – $1,001,204

6 comments

  1. elasticsarcastic

    I’m seeing revised weekend totals of $166 million, so that would mean Harry Potter is still safe. Still pretty strong opening though. Sunday was apparently a lot less than expected, so the Easter bunny may have stolen some of BvS loot to buy more eggs.

  2. Clark

    Batman and Superman together, it was always gonna make big bucks! I wanna see how much Batman v Superman drops on its second weekend, seeing as the reviews were awful and many fans found the movie dull and brainless. I myself found it made no sense and hated it.

    • Luke Hickman
      Author

      Because of the HUGE Thursday night numbers combined with typical blockbuster fall-off, it’s estimated to fall between 60 and 65 percent – and that wouldn’t be unusual or unexpected.

      Most critics hate it, but it seems to be a split with fans. We’ve been polling people and work and it’s leaning more in the like-it direction than hate-it.

      Personally, I liked it the first time I saw it, but loved it the second time.

  3. Lord Bowler

    I actually really enjoyed the film. I’m sure I could find quite a few problems with it, but overall I thought it was great movie.

    • That’s not a $207 million gross (which would be a huge failure for a movie that cost more than that to make). The projection is for $207 million in profit after recouping all expenses. The article estimates a $925 million worldwide gross.

      Even if that doesn’t meet the studio’s expectations for a $2 billion mega-hit, any movie that makes $200+ million in pure profit is clearly a success. Even the ludicrous BS of Hollywood accounting can’t spin that otherwise.

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