Critical scorn is not enough to stop the ultimate battle between heroes, as Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice continues to perform well at the box office. Fans worldwide have been coming out in droves to witness Ben Affleck’s Batman and Henry Cavill’s Superman face off in their first ever co-appearance on the big screen, bringing in an estimated $166.1 million domestically, for a total of $420.1 million worldwide during its opening weekend along.
Batman V Superman's opening weekend take also beat the previous March debut U.S. box office record of $152.5 million set by The Hunger Games in 2012, as well as the Easter weekend debut of $147.1 million record set by Furious 7 in 2015. Now, Dawn of Justice has broken a couple more box office records for the month of March, in addition to passing a noteworthy mark at the global box office.
Deadline is reporting that Batman V Superman broke the record for highest Tuesday in March by bringing in $12.2 million domestically, beating the previous record of $10.3 million, also held by The Hunger Games. This news comes hot on the heels of Monday’s record breaking $15 million, and contributing greatly to the film’s $501.9 million take worldwide. The pace of the earning bodes well for the film, which needs to bring in roughly $800 million to start turning a profit. Warner Brothers is more than pleased with the film’s performance so far, issuing a statement via their president of Worldwide Distribution Veronika Kwan Vanderberg.
“These incredible numbers are building momentum for not only this movie but for the upcoming slate of DC superhero films.”
The momentum is expected to last through this weekend, with many analysts anticipating a noteworthy second weekend box office gross for the movie. As Deadline also reported, some predictions put this battle of the titans at about $60 million for the domestic take - and in the absence of any major new releases for the weekend, Batman V Superman should retain its number one slot. Of course, it's also worth noting that this number would be a significant drop-off from Batman V Superman's opening weekend, even by tentpole standards (which nowadays generally gross half or less of their opening take in their second weekend at the box office).
This is still good news overall for WB/DC, which had a lot at stake with Dawn of Justice. As the second movie in the DC Extended Universe, following 2013’s Man of Steel, the studios' hopes of having a viable superhero movie universe to call its own hinged on Batman V Superman - and will face its second test with the upcoming Suicide Squad. Though a number of critics and fans alike have taken issue with the sheer amount of universe-building that transpires in Batman V Superman, the risk seems to be paying off. At least for now.
Batman V Superman has both detractors and supporters of all shades, even as WB/DC continues to move full-speed ahead with the Snyder-helmed Justice League Part One, which begins filming next month. Meanwhile, David Ayer's Suicide Squad is one of the more heavily anticipated movies of Summer 2016 - though it will be interesting to see what (if any) noticeable effect the reception to Batman V Superman has on Suicide Squad's eventual box office performance.
Still, all in all the future continues to look bright (or, if you prefer, bright enough) as far as the DCEU is concerned. Even as many derided Dawn of Justice overall, the film certainly whetted a few appetites for more of Affleck’s Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman on the big screen. With Wonder Woman currently being filmed, and more Batfleck expected in the future, even those who disliked Batman V Superman may be looking forward to what comes next from DC.
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 23, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps. on June 19, 2020.