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Weekend Predictions: Batman v Superman v Deadpool v Avengers

March 24th, 2016

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens this weekend and should become the biggest film of the year. It has to become the biggest hit of the year. It is the first of ten upcoming films in the DC Extended Universe and it is rumored that Warner Bros. spent $400 million getting this movie to theaters. To be fair, $100 million of this could be described as pre-pre-production for the rest of the DCEU. The other wide release is My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, which is a delayed sequel that I'm not sure many people are really excited to see. It likely didn't cost a lot, so it should break even sooner rather than later. This weekend last year, Home earned first place with $52.11 million. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice should earn more than that during its opening day.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice debuts this weekend and should destroy the competition. It should earn more than the rest of the competition combined. Unfortunately, that might not be enough, as the production budget is at least $200 million. If the total costs are even close to $400 million then this film would have to become the first $1 billion hit of the year just to break even. Will it get there? I'm not sold on its chances.

The film should open really well. Expectations are in the $160 million to $175 million range. However, that's mostly due to the hype. Warner Bros. spend almost as much money hyping this movie as Disney spent on The Force Awakens. (On a side note, that film has added $10 million since falling out of the top ten at the weekend box office and it should remain in the top 20 this weekend.) Once you get past the hype, you need strong word-of-mouth to help its legs and that's where this movie will get into trouble. The reviews started out abysmal and at one point I was worried they would be worse than Allegiant's reviews are. Then they bounced back and jumped over 40% positive and I thought maybe they would hit 50% positive. That's not good, but it is "good enough for a popcorn flick". They have since sunk to just 33% positive. That's bad, regardless of the genre. Granted, a lot of fans have already bought their tickets. Fandango is reporting the highest presales for any super hero movie, including Age of Ultron. It will break the March Weekend Box Office record, currently held by The Hunger Games at $152 million. An opening weekend of just shy of $170 million seems the most likely. It will overtake Deadpool's yearly record relatively quickly, but that's the minimum it will need to earn to not be considered a box office disappointment.

Zootopia will finally relinquish its hold on top spot, but it won't disappear from the box office either. Look for the film to earn another $24 million over the weekend for a running tally of close to $240 million.

Delayed sequels are often a risk, as audiences who loved the first movie might not remember the original many years later. Furthermore, romantic comedies rarely have sequels, because there isn't a natural progression in the story. Both of these factors could be at play with My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. It has been well over a decade since My Big Fat Greek Wedding came out, while most critics say this movie adds little to the first film's story. The first film earned $11 million at the box office during its biggest weekend, so if this film can't open with better than that, it will be seen as a massive disappointment. Fortunately, $15 million seems like a relatively safe bet and this is close to the $18 million it cost to make.

Allegiant should be next with just over $10 million over the weekend for a two-week total of $48 million. It's going to finish with about $70 million domestically. It will need at least twice that internationally to have any chance of breaking even.

It's Easter weekend and that should help Miracles from Heaven hold on earning just under $10 million over the next three days. This will push its running tally to $33 million, which is more than enough to cover its $13 million production budget.

- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice comparisons
- My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Preview, Deadpool, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Divergent Series: Allegiant, Zootopia, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, Miracles from Heaven, DC Extended Universe