While a portion of the Internet has been using Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice as a punching bag almost since it was first announced, it’s always been hard to imagine the film not performing well at the box office. Batman and Superman are two of the most iconic characters in the history of American pop culture, and with Wonder Woman also involved in the superheroic fray, the question has become not whether BVS will do well financially but just how well it will ultimately do.
If advance ticket sales are any indication, Batman V Superman is on its way to a pretty mammoth haul, and possibly setting box-office records. According to early reports, Dawn of Justice has currently sold between $20 and $25 million in advance tickets, which outperforms the advance numbers earned by fellow comic book blockbusters Deadpool and The Avengers. Deadpool opened domestically to the tune of $132.4 million, while The Avengers debuted to a gargantuan $207.4 million. This suggests Batman V Superman will open somewhere between those two numbers. For reference, the most recent Batman film The Dark Knight Rises posted similar advance numbers to BVS in 2012, and ultimately raked in $160.9 million over its opening weekend.
As far as the records factor goes, if Batman V Superman opens domestically at anything above $152 million, it will capture the title of biggest pre-summer opening weekend from the first Hunger Games film. On a slightly smaller scale, if BVS debuts to over $147 million, the DC showdown will take the crown of all-time biggest Easter weekend opening from last year’s Furious 7. Prior to the release of the advance ticket totals, industry analysts were already predicting somewhere around $140 million for Dawn of Justice’s opening weekend gross, meaning that breaking one or both of the above records is a realistic goal for Warner Bros. Pictures.
Of course, Batman V Superman exceeding Deadpool’s advance sales isn’t exactly a huge surprise, if only because PG-13 movies tend to bring in wider audiences than R-rated ones. Deadpool may have shocked the world with its enormous level of success for an R-rated film, but right now, Fox’s raunchy fourth-wall breaker still serves as more the exception that proves the rule, than a clear portent of a changing tide toward adults-only blockbusters.
The fact that BVS is outdoing The Avengers is a more laudable achievement, especially since the latter opened in the summer. To be fair, though, the practice of buying advance tickets for big movies is a tad more common now than it was in 2012, and it’s highly unlikely Dawn of Justice will get too close to The Avengers’ massive opening weekend numbers. That said, the early box office predictions for Deadpool only had it earning around $65 million, so at this point it looks like anything can happen.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25th, 2016, followed by Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman on June 23rd, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17th, 2017; The Flash on March 16th, 2018; Aquaman on July 27th, 2018; Shazam on April 5th, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14th, 2019; Cyborg on April 3rd, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps. on June 19th, 2020.