Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice has now completed its third weekend in theaters. And whether it should be considered a full-blown box office success is something of a complicated question.
On the one hand, Zack Snyder’s superhero film made $166 million in its opening weekend and at the domestic box office thus far, it’s the second biggest film released in 2016 (behind Deadpool and just ahead of Zootopia). On the other hand, it has dropped significantly every week that it has been playing in theaters – even over the course of its first weekend – and this past weekend, it dropped to the #2 spot. Nevertheless, it appears Batman V Superman has now surpassed Man of Steel, stateside.
According to Box Office Mojo’s weekend estimate, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice earned $23.435 million at the Friday-to-Sunday domestic box office, and was slightly edged out by the Melissa McCarthy-starring comedy The Boss, which earned $23.48 million. In the process, Dawn of Justice‘s overall number has now overtaken that of the previous film in the DC Extended Universe, the Snyder-directed Man of Steel, which earned $291 million in the U.S. upon its 2013 release. And it did so in three weeks, while Man of Steel played for much longer than that.
The milestone also means that Dawn of Justice is now the third highest-grossing DC Comics-based film of all time, trailing only Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012.) Dawn of Justice now ranks 58th on the all-time domestic box office list, while both of those Nolan films are in the top ten.
Yet, there remain many areas of concern for Warner Bros and the brain trust behind the DC Extended Universe. The box office for Batman v. Superman has dropped dramatically every week, sliding 70 percent from its first weekend to its second, and more than 50 percent from its second to its third. Meanwhile, one financial analyst wrote this week that even if Dawn of Justice overtakes Man of Steel, as it now has, that doesn’t mean it’s more profitable than its franchise predecessor. There are even reports that WB/DC might be rethinking their DCEU plans.
Then again, when it comes to the DC Extended Universe, we’re still very early in the game. There have only been two DCEU movies so far, and there are are nine titled projects- and two untitled ones- with set release dates in the next four years. And even if it’s less than expected, $296 million is no small amount of money for a movie to make in three weeks.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is now playing in U.S. theaters. Suicide Squad will arrive on August 5, 2016, followed by Wonder Woman on June 2, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on June 19, 2020.
Source: Box Office Mojo