Although Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice has performed well at the box office, even outperforming early expectations for its opening weekend and going on to become the third highest grossing DC Comics release of all time domestically, the film has seen a larger-than-expected drop in its week to week box office since its release. And while the studio has said before that it is not concerned with the superhero slugfest's slowing box office take, the film's overall domestic haul is unlikely to reach the amount earned by similar fare from rival studios like Fox and Disney.
After a short time at the top of the box office, Batman V Superman was narrowly beat out for the number one spot this past weekend by Melissa McCarthy's newest comedy The Boss. While the length of time most movies stay atop the box office heap is considerably shorter these days, it may have been a surprise for Warner Bros. to see its superhero epic dethroned so soon after its release. But there's one way for the studio to attempt to reclaim the mantle of box-office champion, and maybe even encourage some holdouts to journey to the cineplex for a look at the film before it hits the home video market.
Upon learning of an R-rated extended cut of the movie that will eventually make its way to Blu-ray, some Batman V Superman fans took it upon themselves to create a petition for that cut to be released in theaters. Fan petitions are a dime a dozen on the Internet, so there was no reason to think that this one in particular would hold much sway, but speculation is growing that Warner Bros. might be considering just such a move, with Screen Crush the latest to add fuel to the fire after picking up the suggestion from the Heroic Insider podcast.
With the Change.org petition for the R-rated theatrical release up to over 6,700 supporters, that shows there is at least some interest out there for such a move. The big question is whether that interest is limited to hardcore fans or if it would have a broader appeal as well. After all, it would cost Warner Bros. additional work and additional money to get the extended cut to theaters, so the studio would want to be assured they would get a solid return on their investment.
Director Zack Snyder has teased additional characters in his extended cut that didn't make it to the theatrical version, such as actress Jenna Malone's mystery character. There are also additional Easter eggs, including one "that speaks to what’s gonna go on in the greater Justice League universe." Would those things be enough to draw in new and repeat viewers? There's only one way to find out, but time will tell if Warner Bros. makes that leap.
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.