Though critics vilified the movie, audiences certainly didn’t.
The much anticipated “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” had a record-setting weekend at the box office as it took in an estimated $170.1 million domestically, according to pro.boxoffice.com.
That’s the biggest opening weekend figure of all time for a pre-summer release.
The movie also broke the record for the the largest pre-summer opening day ($82 million), the largest opening in the month of March (beating “The Hunger Games,” $152 million), largest opening ever for Easter weekend (beating “Furious 7,” $147 million), and the largest opening for the film’s studio, Warner Bros (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2,” $169 million).
This is a huge success for the studio, specifically, as its coming off busts of blockbuster titles like last year’s “Jupiter Ascending” and “Pan.” But, it also proves that its launch of movies on DC Comics characters (“Suicide Squad” and “Justice League” on deck) can compete with the already successful Marvel characters that have been dominating the box office.
However, “Batman v Superman,” budgeted around $250 million, didn’t get out of the gates cleanly.
Going into the weekend the big news was the almost universal bashing of the film by critics (it currently has a 29% rating on Rotten Tomatoes). But that narrative went away when the film took in $27.7 million in its Thursday preview screenings, the biggest preview day figure ever going into Easter weekend.
The movie then made $82 million on Friday, the biggest pre-summer Friday (beating out last year’s “Furious 7” with $67.4 million).
And overseas the news is also positive. The film has already made over $115 million as of Saturday in 17 territories, according to Deadline. And in China, the film is Warner Bros.’ biggest opening ever with $57.1 million in just three days.
A major reason for the record-breaking figures is because Warner Bros. flooded the film with it playing in 35,000 screens around the world. Something only done for the major summer releases.
The next test for the film will be its staying power. As word of mouth floods on social media, will general audience consensus match how the critics feel, or will repeat viewings begin?
Rounding out the weekend releases, Disney’s “Zootopia” continues to be a hit as it came in second with $23.1 million, now at a total domestic of $240 million. While “My Big Fat Greek Weeding 2” played the counter-program to “Batman v Superman,” attracting females not into the comic book characters with an estimated $18.1 million to land in third.
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