Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” opened on top of the Chinese box office. But it fell short of expectations and failed to rewrite many record books.

The double superhero fantasy action franchise picture opened on 16,000 screens and posted $56.5 million over its three-day opening, according to data from Ent Group. That comfortably beat “Zootopia” in second place, which managed $26.8 million over the full week and stands on a 24 day cumulative of $197 million after 24 days on release.

“Batman v Superman” had the supposed benefit of a release that was simultaneous with its worldwide rollout. And it scored an impressive $18.4 million on Friday (Mar. 25).  That was the second largest Friday opening for a Hollywood film, behind “Transformers 4” from 2014, and was reported to be the sixth largest opening day for a Hollywood movie in China,

But after Friday matters were much closer over the weekend proper. On Saturday “Batman v Superman”  earned $22.3 million, an increase of only 21%. On Sunday its score slipped to $14.8 million.

Warner Bros. said that the film delivered the biggest 3-day opening in China for the studio, and reported $57.3 million (RMB371.5 million).

Preliminary data for Monday, which was not a holiday in China, is for a score of $4.58 million and a cumulative of $61.5 million after four days. That slowdown is going to make it hard for the film to reach even low end forecasts of $150 million, and it is highly unlikely to reach the top end predictions of $230 million.

Sources close to the studio suggest that “Batman V Superman” is well-positioned for the upcoming holiday weekend. Though it will face fresh competition from local titles including “The Bodyguard” and “When We Were Young.”

“Zootopia,” in contrast, looks to have crossed $200 million on Monday and still has a few days before its run is terminated. It is the top grossing Hollywood film of the year in China (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” earned $125 million) and the highest ever animation film. It also beat the China-U.S. co-production “Kung Fu Panda 3,” which has taken $152 million.

Third place in the weekly chart went to “The Revenant” with $18.8 million, giving it a $50.5 million score after 10 days.
Local comedy, romance, “The Rise of a Tomboy” took fourth spot with $3.81, for a 10 day cumulative score of $8.81 million.

“Gods of Egypt” ground out another $2.79 million, to advance its 17-day score to $35.1 million in fifth place. “Ip Man 3” recorded $1.66 million in sixth spot, giving it $122 million after 24 days.

“Behind the Yellow Line” earned $1.13 million in its opening weekend. Record breaker, “The Mermaid” added $740,000, advancing its 49 cumulative to $515 million. “Kung Fu Panda 3,” on release for 59 days, earned 610,000 in ninth place. “Eddie The Eagle” added $550,000, for a crash and burn total of $960,000 after ten days.

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