By all accounts, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice should have been the first film of 2016 to be a smash hit at the box office. Instead, it was Deadpool with its record-shattering weekend and an outstanding total box office haul that just keeps growing. But there's no reason for Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment to worry, as their film is projecting to earn roughly $100-$140 million in its opening weekend.
That sort of box office is none too shabby for a film that's proven contentious among its key demographic, though it's a little less than the studio was expecting and we had previously heard. Surely, WB and DC want to see a domestic opening that pushes beyond the $140 million mark, even potentially challenging The Hunger Games' March opening weekend record of $152 million. Tickets go on sale this Monday, February 29, and when they do it should become clearer what sort of opening weekend Batman V Superman will have.
For further comparison, Man of Steel opened with $116 million and there's every chance Batman V Superman could at least manage the same. For one, it's opening on a holiday weekend which also happens to coincide with a time of year many schools are on break. As an example, Furious 7 opened on Good Friday last year and had the best April opening ever -- why shouldn't Batman V Superman expect the same?
Sure, there will be those who'll argue the marketing hasn't been especially compelling or they aren't interested in Zack Snyder's dark and moody spin on the DC Comics universe, but none of that really matters when it comes to the general movie-going public. For many, it's simply a chance to see two iconic superheroes in one movie, folding together two high profile and recognizable properties into one experience. Plus, the competition will be slim on Easter weekend -- what else are audiences going to watch at the movie theater?
However, this could all change once the film begins screening for critics and the review embargo is lifted. Were Batman V Superman to earn overwhelmingly poor reviews, it might be lucky to match Deadpool's opening weekend gross let alone surpass it. Though if they manage to sell enough pre-sale tickets that may not matter, the hype for the film -- both positive and negative -- might be enough to put fans in seats.
And it isn't as if we have a good reason to believe Batman V Superman will be a flop. A disappointment to some, sure, and maybe not even a huge hit with critics, but it seems highly unlikely the film will be a bomb. After all, plenty of bad movies earn big at the box office, but so do plenty of good ones. We simply won't know which Batman V Superman will be until it opens.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25, 2016, which is followed by Suicide Squad on August 5, 2016; 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.