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Weekend Estimates: Batman v Superman hits March record $170 milion

March 27th, 2016

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman and Superman not only had to fight each other this weekend, but also mediocre reviews. They have come through in some style, however, posting a record for March of $170.1 million, according to Warner Bros.’ Sunday morning estimate. Our model has the film coming a little below that mark, at $165 million or so, which might mean it won’t quite top Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II’s $169 million, which is currently the studio’s best ever weekend. But the fact that we’re comparing the movie to the Harry Potter franchise is nothing but good news for them.

The main concern at this early stage is how much the so-so reviews will pull down the eventual box office for the film. Even using Warner Bros.’ $170 million projection, the film will have made 48% of its weekend gross on Friday, putting it among the 30 most front-loaded movies on opening weekend. To be fair, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is 32nd on that list, which reflects the fact that both films had big Thursday preview performances. However, the only blockbuster films higher on that list are from the Twilight and Harry Potter franchises, which suggests that Batman v Superman is appealing more to an enthusiastic core audience than breaking out into broader demographics. That’s not the worst news in the world—Twilight and Harry Potter were hugely profitable franchises after all—but it does suggest the DC Extended Universe might not garner the same kind of broad following enjoyed by Marvel or Jurassic Park.

Internationally, Batman v Superman is estimated to have brought in $254 million this weekend, for a global debut of $424.1 million. That’s the fourth-best global opening weekend, behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($529 million), Jurassic World ($524 million), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II ($483 million). Adjusted for inflation, it’s in tenth in that particular list, just behind Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (which made an inflation-adjusted $437 million back in 2003). It’s also right in line with the global debut of The Avengers, which made $425 million adjusted for inflation, after taking into account the fact that the film opened one week later in the US than internationally.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that Batman v Superman is doing very well, and Warner Bros. have every reason to be pleased with the start of their new franchise.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 also started in pleasing fashion this weekend, with $18.1 million expected by Universal as of Sunday morning. Much like the original film, this seems more like a crowd-pleaser than a critic-pleaser, and there’s nothing wrong with that, of course. The original film took 10 weeks to reach $18 million at the box office, incidentally, on the way to $241 million in total. We won’t be seeing the same kind of legs this time around, but the film may stick around for a while all the same, thanks to relatively limited competition.

Elsewhere on the chart, quite a few films are doing very nicely, according to estimates. Eye in the Sky is projected to crack $1 million and earn a place in the top ten from just 123 theaters. Biopic Born to Be Blue will earn around $47,000 from just three theaters, and is the best-performing new limited release. Midnight Special is doing even better in its second weekend with $97,000 projected from five venues. Finally, April and the Extraordinary World, with $12,101 from a single location, and I Saw the Light, with $50,464 from five, will both top the $10,000 theater average on debut.

One final note. In spite of Easter weekend, religiously-themed movies aren’t doing especially well. Miracles from Heaven will pick up $9.5 million in fifth place this weekend, with a theater average of $3,100. Risen will earn $900,000 from 634 theaters for 11th place on the chart. The Young Messiah is well off the pace with just $274,000 from 874 venues in its third weekend. Possibly an over-supply of films accounts for the lackluster performances.

- Weekend estimates
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice comparisons
- Biggest weekends at the domestic box office
- Biggest combined gross for all movies in a single weekend
- Biggest weekends in March
- Biggest days of all time
- Biggest days in March
- Most front-loaded weekends
- My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 comparisons
- Zootopia comparisons

Bruce Nash,

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Young Messiah, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Divergent Series: Allegiant, Midnight Special, I Saw the Light, Risen, Zootopia, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, Eye in the Sky, Miracles from Heaven, Born to Be Blue, Avril et le monde truqué, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, Twilight, Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC Extended Universe