“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” added $46 million to its global box office haul Monday. That includes a $15 million in domestic receipts and pushes the superhero match-up’s worldwide total to $468.6 million.
It’s a massive number, but there are still questions swirling about the film’s long-term health. Reviews have been negative, and the response from viewers has been lukewarm. The picture received a mediocre B CinemaScore, one of the lowest results for either a Superman or Batman film. Given the tepid reaction, the question is how sharply will “Batman v Superman” fall in its second weekend? If word of mouth is bad, the drop could be very steep indeed.
Studio sources, however, say that social media reaction by fans has been largely positive and there have been reports from exhibitors of repeat viewing. The CinemaScore also improves with younger audiences, a demographic that coincides with fanboys. Males under 18 gave the film an A-, while those under 25 gave it a B+.
Final numbers have not been released, but flash reports indicate that “Batman v Superman” did $9 million worth of business in China on Monday and Tuesday. It opened in the People’s Republic over the weekend, debuting to $57 million over the three-day weekend. That three-day number compares favorably to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ($50 million debut) and “Kung Fu Panda 3” ($51 million).
Warner Bros. is counting on “Batman v Superman” to launch a cinematic universe of DC Comics characters, resulting in spin-offs and sequels featuring the two title characters, villains and members of the Justice League. Zack Snyder directed the film, with Ben Affleck donning Batman’s cape and cowl and Henry Cavill slipping into Superman’s spandex.
Despite the critical griping and mixed fan reaction, the studio believes that “Batman v Superman” will benefit from a lack of competition at the multiplexes. This weekend brings the faith-based drama “God’s Not Dead 2” and “Meet the Blacks,” but there’s not another big-budget release until Disney’s “The Jungle Book” hits theaters on April 15.