Box Office: ‘Batman v Superman’ Dives 68% to $52.4 Million in 2nd Weekend

Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” appears to be losing steam as it ends its second weekend in theaters.

Once again, the critically loathed superhero film topped the box office, picking up $52.4 million. However, that represented a steep 68% fall from its $166 million debut. The results suggest that “Batman v Superman” will be a front-loaded blockbuster along the lines of “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” or “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” all of which earned a disproportionate share of their revenues in their initial weekends and suffered similar drop-offs. Given that the picture features two of the highest-profile comic-book characters in movie history, the results, which on paper are impressive, are nevertheless being heavily scrutinized.

“When you’re squaring off with Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy, good luck,” said Jeff Bock, box office analyst with Exhibitor Relations. “The bottom line is it wasn’t a film up to the caliber of previous Batman or Superman films.”

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Domestically, the Warner Bros. release has picked up a hefty $261.4 million. The major problem facing the studio is it doesn’t just need “Batman v Superman” to be a hit, it needs it to be so fervently embraced that fans will show up to see sequels and spinoffs for years to come. The film is intended to kick off an interconnected cinematic universe of DC Comics characters that Warner Bros. hopes will rival what Marvel has achieved with the Avengers films.

“We’re extremely proud of the film and audiences have turned out in huge numbers and we’re confident they will continue to do that in the weeks to come,” said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. distribution executive vice president.

Goldstein went on to note that unlike major blockbusters, which typically unspool in the heart of summer when school is out, “Batman v Superman” was released in spring, when a much smaller percentage of students were on spring vacation. That may have made the drop-off more severe, he suggested.

There were advantages to the March release strategy. Namely, there wasn’t much in the way of competition. Most studios steered clear of the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel’s on-screen scuffle, preferring to hold their fire. The next big-budget studio release to hit theaters is Disney’s “The Jungle Book” on April 15. In the interim, Pure Flix tried to engage faith-based audiences with “God’s Not Dead 2,” a follow-up to the 2014 low-budget smash. The picture centers on a school teacher (Melissa Joan Hart, of “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” fame) who gets embroiled in a legal controversy after bringing up Jesus in class. The film wasn’t as warmly embraced as its predecessor, pulling in $8.1 million for a fourth place finish, and trailing the original’s $9.2 million launch, despite opening on 2,318 theaters, more than double the number of locations as the first “God’s Not Dead.”

The weekend’s other new release, Freestyle Releasing’s “Meet the Blacks,” a parody of the film “The Purge,” did $4.1 million after debuting on 1,011 screens. The indie distributor relied heavily on social media to get fans of comedian Mike Epps to theaters.

“We were thrilled with the gross,” said Mark Borde, co-president of Freestyle. “The core audience came out in force. We had a very high per-screen average and we expect this picture to continue to perform extremely well.”

In the holdover department, Disney’s “Zootopia” took second place, with $20 million, pushing the animated hit’s domestic total to $275.9 million. In its second weekend, Universal’s “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” showed some endurance, racking up $11.1 million, a slender 38% drop from its opening weekend. The romantic comedy sequel has earned $36.5 million after two weeks of release. Sony’s “Miracles From Heaven” rounded out the top five, grossing $7.5 million and pushing its total to $46.8 million.

Among indie films, Sony Pictures Classics debuted the Miles Davis biopic “Miles Ahead” in four theaters, where it grossed $122,751, for a per screen average of $30,688, and Paramount bowed Richard Linklater’s college comedy “Everybody Wants Some!!” in 19 theaters, where it earned $371,000.

Bleecker Street expanded the drone thriller “Eye in the Sky” from 123 theaters to 1,029, picking up $4 million. The film, which features one of the late actor Alan Rickman’s final performances, has earned $6.1 million in four weeks of release.

Overall, the box office was down more than 40%, as ticket sales couldn’t match the year-ago period when “Furious 7” launched to a massive $147.2 million. Next weekend, Melissa McCarthy will try to prove she still has the box office touch, debuting the R-rated comedy “The Boss” from Universal,  while STX Entertainment will counter with the point-of-view thriller “Hardcore Henry.”

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  1. jj says:

    BvS has or will pass all X men movies, Deadpool, Iron Man 1 + 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America 1 + 2, Iron Man, Thor 1 + 2, Batman Begins, Superman Returns, and most other superhero movies when all is said and done. And it is considered a failure when it doesn’t beat Avengers 1+2. There is something wrong with this narrative.

    • dirtyvu says:

      Actually, there’s a chance BvS plateaus at $900m. And a good chance that Zootopia actually outpaces BvS when it’s all done. BvS fell hard in North America but fell harder in international markets. In China, BvS dropped 78%. Right now, the trajectory for BvS is $900M. Zootopia projects to $340 domestically. But internationally, it racked up $512M (mostly because of China with over $215M). So Zootopia is about to cross $800M and will pass $900M before it even opens in Japan, a huge market for Disney animation. Zootopia is projected over $1B when its run ends.
      Heck, even just factoring North America, there’s even a chance that Zootopia will actually pass BvS. While BvS has a greater cume at the moment, the Zootopia curve is flatter while BvS is dropping fast.

      • EricJ says:

        Zootopia making a billion and beating BvS (because we always return like swallows to the feel-good, audience-respecting Disney/Pixar when the overdone, misfired studio-futzed Warner, Universal or Sony blockbusters let us down), eh, at this point, that’s like tripping a midget.

        Now, whether Zootopia will make a billion to beat Frozen, THERE’S some long deserved box-office payback we’d like to see… :)

    • EricJ says:

      Yes: It’s being considered a failure for box office, and not for being a depressing, disjointed, self-indulgent, misconceived mess.
      If we can only looking at the numbers, something’s very very WRONG. ;)

  2. Don't Mind Me Now says:

    To paraphrase Stephen Colbert, “reality has a well-known Marvel bias.”

  3. Marco says:

    I’m a fan of both Marvel and DC.
    I have seen the movie on the first day.
    It had some very good scenes and some very bad ones.
    In the end i will not watch it again on the silver screen BUT i will buy the 18 directors cut.
    Both in 2012 & 2013 i have watched 120 movies at cinemas for a total of 240 in 2 years.
    Was B v S a great movie?
    Sadly not.
    Was it entertaining?
    Yes it was.
    I also track box office numbers daily as a hobby (Star Wars & Deadpool still every day).

    My estimates are:
    BvS will make slightly under 400 million domestic and around 900 million worldwide.
    Is that a flop?
    No.
    Is that an encouraging way to jumpstart a movie universe?
    Sadly not.

  4. patmyback says:

    Everyone is forgetting that Good Friday is a public holiday in many of the countries where the picture opened and also that monday is a bank and school holiday in many countries. My business was huge on Good Friday (it is one of our best attended days of the year). So considering that outside of the US it was a long weekend, the drop off maybe isn’t so dramatic.

  5. Nebulous Future says:

    Batman versus Superman is a worldwide box office disaster. It’s time to face the music and let go of all the fan boy excuse bingo. When a major release drops nearly 70% in America, completely implodes in China, and drops an identical 70% internationally, it’s a case closed situation. What should have been a bases loaded jog around to home plate for THE JUSTICE LEAGUE has turned into a pop up sacrifice fly ball for a single one weekend phenomenon. Sorry, Batman and Superman, no billion dollar club membership for you!

    • JK says:

      LOL $682.9 million in 10 days, yeah yeah big disaster, you wish!, LOL, poor thing nebulous future is your wrong narrative, better work on it

      • Jedi77 says:

        As good as that amount sounds, it means very little.
        Frontloaded films are a dime a dozen, but films with legs, those are rare.
        WB need this film to have legs, but currently it looks like it doesn’t have it.

        When a film makes half it’s combined total in the first week, it’s a sign that it is very poorly recieved by the moviegoing public.
        When a film makes three times it’s first week in tital BO, it’s a very well recevied film.

        We’ll see in a few weeks, but right now, the outlook for BvS isn’t good.

      • DSykes says:

        $682.9 million isn’t as good a number as you think it is. First off, the theaters are going to take their cut first, typically this is about a third of the revenue, but WB might have worked out a deal in their favor, but if not their goes a third, Production is estimated at 250 million, probably another 100 mil for marketing and advertising. Then this is a LONG running project, millions have been poured into the development of a BVS film, think back to the script in 2003 that Akiva Goldsman was involved with (this is likely why there was a BVS Easter egg in I Am Legend). After all that we have no idea if there were any deals for profit sharing off the back-end. Has it made money? Probably by now, sure, but with all the money and investment that WB put into a property with two very well known characters, they’re very disappointed with the numbers, no matter the spin they put on it.

  6. cornersss says:

    ““Batman v Superman” was released in spring, when a much smaller percentage of students were on spring vacation. ”

    You mean spring break? When all the kids are off from school?

    Lol, nice try. If they knew it was going to be a smash, it would have been released in the summer. They were nervous, and rightly so.

  7. EK says:

    “Appears losing steam” … duh, 68% drop domestically.

  8. steve barr says:

    i,ve seen the movie twice . Liked it even more the second time . This critical and financial pile on is getting silly and very transparent !

    • DSykes says:

      It’s great that you enjoyed the film, and ever more so on the second viewing. But unfortunately not everyone feels that way. People wouldn’t be piling on if this move were actually good, and sadly it’s not. Even the 71% audience score (on RT) is made up of a lot of people who thought it was, ‘okay’ or ‘alright’. The movie just isn’t good and we’re disappointed, because we had such hopeful expectations. Even those of us who thought Man of Steel was more like ‘Meh’ of Steel had hopes for a better film from Snyder. I’m not just hating on Snyder either as I was one of those that liked Watchmen for the most part, so I know what it’s like to be in the minority view when it comes to one of his films.

  9. Richard says:

    These would be great numbers if the darn thing did not cost so much to make. The real bad news comes from the grosses in China which are tanking bad in the second week. My friends and co-workers did not go and bad reviews where not the reason they where just indifferent to it. A lot of the same people are also indifferent to Captain America 3 and none of them have any desire to see the latest x-men movie. I am curious to see if Deadpool shows that these films are still popular with the general public or if this is soon to be the norm and these films will be more fan driven events with big openings followed by big dives.

  10. jj says:

    Critics are so quick to label the movie a failure without using the international gross totals and paint a false picture of the film as a failure after $261.4 million after 10 days. As the second or really the first picture in the DC universe it is already exceeding films like Captain America, Thor, Iron Man domestic and international totals will be exceeded by this picture. I don’t understand this group think by critics who seem to shout it from the rooftops or in this case a small cubicle that is movie will be a failure.

    • therealeverton says:

      Passing those films is irrelevant. It’s like getting excited because World War Z has made more money than a Resident Evil film. It should. 6 Superman films, and 7 Batman film preceded this. And it isn’t a film staring a character that the general public had never heard of before they saw a trailer for the film.

      Nobody is saying that the film has made a small amount of money, or didn’t open well. Of course it opened well. If it had been Cavil and Affleck reading the dictionary and called B v S Dawn of Justice it would have opened huge.

      People who actually KNOW the business and follow these things EVERY WEEK for yeas, know that what counts, in terms of how well your film s going down is the second and third week . The weekends where people are gong again and/or listening to what their friends and family are saying and going back.

      With Harry Potter you had people who got tired of th films, but wanted to see ow t ended coming back and then, they didn’t bother going again. Here you very clearly have a large number of people not returning and another set being advised the critics were right, the people who gave it a B average Cinemascore were right, and aren’t going.

      Opening so big has done wonders for the film, but that is a massive drop and people need to stop complaining because media outlets are reporting the facts.

      Harry Potter’s drop WAS remarked upon as unusually massive, however there was a record midnight for that film, which when removed made the drop 62%. A third difference was Harry Potter actually had competition in its second weekend. Captain America opened on its second weekend, whereas this film has had nothing in most markets. If you think a 77% drop in the U.K and 88% in China is indicative of a film people are loving en masse, you’re sadly mistaken.

      We’re glad you like the film, but don’t be so defensive, this is all standard box office analysis and you are not comparing like with like.

  11. FRT says:

    Anyone who bases their choices on critics should learn to think for themselves. With the exception of Roger Ebert, I can’t think of another critic who actually worked in the business. That should be what qualifies them to critique movies. I watch the movies I want to watch. Some I love, some I like and others I loathe. BvS is a like movie. It’s not the greatest superhero movie – it should have been – but it’s also not bad.

    • EricJ says:

      Uh, Roger Ebert didn’t “work in the business” either, he started out at the Sun-Times wanting to be a political reporter, but took an opening where he could get it. (Life Itself isn’t on Netflix anymore, but you can probably find it on Amazon.)
      The qualifications for being a critic is that they KNOW their past movies, can “talk baseball” enough to know what is a good movie and what isn’t from the audience seats, and unlike some people, can say so. And it’s their job to say so.

      Those “critics” who actually DO work in the business are called “Studio Publicists”, they’re the ones that gush over Golden Globe nominations, and they’re the ones hysterically trying to tell us how much money it made in China when it didn’t.
      You’re not a studio publicist by any chance, are you? ;)

    • DJ Doena says:

      That’s a rather small-minded approach to critiquing. I can’t cook very well (only the basics) but I can tell apart a well-made dinner from canned food nonetheless. I’m not a native English speaker (nor do I live in an English-speaking country) but I can still tell apart a book using superior use of the English language compared to some first attempt at fan fiction.

  12. JR says:

    As others have noted, a highly-praised movie like the last Harry Potter movie (the finale of a long-running series) dropped 72% in its second week…but no one crowed that meant it was a failure. But when BvS has a smaller drop than that, people chime in that it’s because it’s a “stinker” (it’s not).

    • Don't Mind Me Now says:

      Deathly Hallows Part 2 was the END of a franchise, playing entirely to fans and no longer concerned with trying to build an audience base for future films. If the huge HP fanbase showed up in full force on opening weekend, then WB had a winner on their hands. (If Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets had followed a DH2 pattern, then you’d have a valid comparison.) But BvS has to BUILD the audience because it is the SETUP for a huge franchise, not a finale. If the fanbase only showed up opening weekend and nobody else cares (and not enough people recommend the film to get them to care), then there’s a problem.

      Not to mention that HP-DH2 had major direct competition on its second weekend (Captain America), whereas BvS had only the oh-so-intimidating competition of God’s Not Dead 2, which itself underperformed. (DH2 would have dropped very hard even without competition, but CA made it steeper than otherwise.)

      BvS itself is not a financial flop, and saying it is is ignorant. But regardless of whether you liked it, it’s not a great monetary launching pad for the DC movie machine, and this drop indicates that the film is not building broad interest for future DC projects.

    • JK says:

      I dare @BRENT LANG to do the proper comparation and acknowledge in his piece that the Last Harry Potter dropped 72% in its second weekend, a larger decrease than BvS, and it was WB best second weekend and it is also a boxoffice hit and critical adored.

      Stop that narrative of failure on solid numbers

  13. GKN says:

    Geez, Batman v Superman has already made some $500 million globally. Will you please stopping trashing it, trying to prove yourselves right by dissuading everyone from seeing it? You “critics” obviously can’t see just how transparent you are.

    • cornersss says:

      “Geez, Batman v Superman has already made some $500 million globally. Will you please stopping trashing it, trying to prove yourselves right by dissuading everyone from seeing it? You “critics” obviously can’t see just how transparent you are.”

      The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor (2008) made $500 million globally also. Good point……?

    • DJ Doena says:

      Coming from an objective point of view (I’m not a comic book reader or fan of any of the ‘verses) it does tell you something about both marketing and quality if you manage to make a major buck on the first weekend but then just drop dead. Many people seem to wanted to watch that movie immediately. But once word got out (from other people than the critics) interest does seem to have dropped rather remarkeably. So basically, marketing did an awesome job to get the money back they spent on the flick but beyond that it’s doesn’t seem to generate much more than that on its own two feet.

      • JK says:

        The Last Harry Potter dropped 72% in its second weekend, a larger decrease than BvS, and it was WB best second weekend and it is also a boxoffice hit and critical adored.

        So coming from a REAL objective point of view, your assesment of the performance of the film is wrong, and clearly there’s a campaign to twist solid numbers into failure. BvS is doing better than their last big franchise hit, so you better get informed better

    • David K says:

      For the budget & expectations $500 million is nothing, the movie is a flop

      • JK says:

        Good to know that EricJ knows how to count, indeed tomorrow will be 11 days, at least you’re right on something, good work poor thing

      • EricJ says:

        We’re really clinging to those TEN DAYS!!! like our dearest teddy bear, aren’t we, JK?
        Monday will be Day 11. The first day of the rest of the movie’s life. :)

      • JK says:

        and let me correct, 680 Millions in 10 days, you wish that was a flop. The critics are just looking validation to a narrative that does not relate to the reality, the public has spoken and it’s a hit either you like it or not (and that even with China blocking the movie the second week)

      • JK says:

        @rinaex the last Harry Potter is the biggest money maker of all, so your argument has no valid point

      • rinaex says:

        That was the LAST film in an eight film series. This is supposed to be launching a new cinematic universe for DC. It should not already be suffering a drop like this.

      • JK says:

        Almost $600 in ten days not a flop at all!!!

        It will beat and has beaten Iron Man, Captain America, Thor in mere days

        Again. Trying to twist solid numbers in a non existant failure just because doesnt fit the narrative they want.

  14. Lisa says:

    More to come??!! Oh no, enough already!
    The sun has set on the Dawn of Justice.

    • EricJ says:

      “Harry Potter dropped 72% in its second weekend….it is also a boxoffice hit and critical adored.”

      And in BvS’s case, to quote the words of Meat Loaf, two out of three ain’t bad.

      Harry Potter, like Fifty Shades of Gray, The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies and Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, had massive fan “pilgrimages” that stormed the theaters on the first week, more HOPING what they would get than KNOWING what they would get. And in Harry’s case, what they got didn’t suck.
      A dropoff is inevitably going to happen after a Record-Breaking Weekend–for the same reason that Times Square is inevitably going to be less crowded on Jan. 2–but the Second Weekend is there two test the two crucial questions on which the movie will literally live or die:
      1) Did ANYONE ELSE even want to see the movie to begin with, and
      2) Will anyone who DID see it want to persuade anyone who didn’t to come with them and give it a try?

      Well…Did they, and will they?

      • cornersss says:

        your new years analogy was a bad one.

      • JK says:

        @EricJ 680 millions in 10 days, I think the answer is yes, the people has spoken and critics narrative in the headline doesn’t hold up (dive?, LOL)

    • Alex says:

      If “Wonder Woman” is good and does well people may forget about how bad B v S was. The “Justice League” films are a few years away and “Wonder Woman” may act as a buffer.

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