Box Office: ‘Batman v Superman’ Steamrolls Past $500 Million Globally

Batman vs Superman
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” barreled past the $500 million mark after five days in release.

The superhero battle royale racked up $12.2 million on Tuesday and a healthy $$20.7 million overseas. That takes its global haul to $501.9 million. The film is playing in nearly every major foreign territory, including China, the world’s second largest market for film.

Critics savaged the film, and “Batman v Superman” currently has a woeful 29% “rotten” ranking on reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. The film also received a mediocre B CinemaScore, a low grade for a superhero film and one of the worst ratings ever for a film with Batman or Superman. Despite the cool reception, the film continue to put up impressive receipts, and Fandango reports that it is seeing 30% more repeat business than the ticketer usually sees for a blockbuster film, indicating some fans enjoyed the spectacle.

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 drubbing, 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.

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  1. John Thompson says:

    Not sure this movie will even cross the $900 million mark let alone the WB coveted $1 billion– certainly not in the Star Wars or Jurassic World league.

  2. Cade Ezell says:

    The film was different than the formula we are used to, and it did Jam pack a lot of information in 2 hours. The film was good in that is has me excited for The Solo DC hero films, the Justice League movie, and now I’m wondering (after the ending of this film is resolved with Supes current situation) if superman turns evil and they take an injustice gods among us approach to the story line. which is weird seeing how it is about a video game and not an original story, but would stil be awesome to see. Or maybe a Flashpoint Paradox storyline. Since flash already is seen going back in time to warn batman, and also just because in the paradox, Batman turns out to be Thomas Wayne, Bruces father. And I think this mostly because why would they get a heavy hitter actor like Jeffrey Dean Morgan to only play a 20 second role in the origin story. There are so many ways this can go. and this movie was a simple set up. And I’m glad to have a more serious superhero movie. All those quips in the middle of a battle is fun for Tony Stark, and Ant Man and Star Lord, but that is their character not Batman or Wonder Woman or Superman. But once Flash, and Green Lantern show up, we’ll get some light hearted quips. It’s good they didn’t force comedy out of characters that aren’t funny. But I will say Superman is definitely too serious. But the actor playing him is doing a good job, would just like to see him smile more.

  3. kelvo says:

    Critics are helping the ticket sales.. by bashing the movie.. it makes people go see it… love it

  4. I was surprised when I heard that Batman v Superman was released in March. I thought it was going to be a summer blockbuster. Since the reviews were not that good, perhaps it was a good strategy in releasing it when there was less competition. Making $500 million after five days from release is very good, but I’m not sure if the momentum for sales will continue. I think some people are getting tired of super hero movies. With regards to Batman and Superman in the DC comics world they are part of the Justice League. The Justice League consists of groups of heroes and the baddies also have the own group of baddies so there is scope for alot of new superhero and super villian in future movies.

  5. Jimmy says:

    ” Fandango reports that it is seeing 30% more repeat business than the ticketer usually sees for a blockbuster film, indicating some fans enjoyed the spectacle.” Clearly more than some fans are enjoying the spectacle if it is getting more than 30% more repeat business than most blockbusters. The critics opinions of the movie doesn’t mean everyone thinks or perceives the same especially in the worst case of group think I’ve seen where nearly all critics want to have the same opinion so as to not stand apart from their peers by giving this movie poor reviews to a point where they are unfair. I think Variety has been more balanced than most websites I’ve visited and more fair in their reviews in general. Keep up the good work.

    • EricJ says:

      Then again, we did hear from fans saying “I’ve bought tickets to see it two or three times!” before opening, as the very act of setting out to theatrically binge-watch it was to prove one’s loyalty to the dream of the DCU.
      Heaven forbid we should accuse them of a Passion-style “ballot-stuffing” of ticket sales to make sure it got the Biggest BO Box-Office Opening In the History of, Like, Ever, Everywhere in the World, just to prove their point.

      They’ve had their week of fun, and now we get to see what normal people think of it. Not too highly, I’m guessing at this point.

  6. Jacques Strappe says:

    To turn a profit, the film will reportedly have to reach somewhere in the vicinity of $930million, according to some financial analysts. BvS carries a hefty marketing price tag as well as a supersized superhero film budget. Nowadays the cost of marketing these high budget films is often much higher than the cost to make the actual film. This is especially true now that international markets as a whole are now much more valuable than the domestic market box office. Marketing approaches not only have to be written in many different languages, they require different approaches country to country. The Chinese, for instance, were mostly unfamiliar with Batman and Superman. I suspect after it’s all said and done, BvS will have turned a very modest profit for WB, meeting low end expectations.

    • Iron Door says:

      I’m not sure where these analysts got that $930 million figure from. It seems high to me. The rule of thumb is generally twice the budget plus the marketing budget for one of these big films to break even. Warner Bros says the budget is $250 million and the marketing budget is $165 million. So twice $250 million is $500 million, plus $165 million equals $665 million. So unless Warner Bros isn’t being truthful about those figures, $665 million is closer to the number BvS needs to break even.

      Keep in mind though, we are only talking box office numbers, not overall numbers. To elaborate, most of us know that Avatar (2009) is the highest grossing movie of all time at the global box office (about $2.8 Billion), but it is not the most profitable movie of all time. The most profitable movie of all time is Pixar’s Cars (2006). Cars grossed about $462 million globally, which is okay but nowhere near Pixar’s biggest box office successes. But Cars made approximately $10 Billion in merchandise sales over a five year period. Star Wars is another franchise where merchandise earnings reportedly top box office earnings. Going by what I’ve seen in the toy section of department stores, BvS may be the kind of movie that does very well in merchandise sales (I bought a Wonder Woman doll for my 7 year old niece).

      • therealeverton says:

        Not quite, the rule of thumb is twice the TOTAL budget. In other words the $250m + $165. So you need to double $415m to get $830m. My guess, re bumping that up to over $900m is the new problem of China. Where you expect to make over $100m from that market but only get 25% back, not 50%…But that part is an educated guess on my part. But it’s always the FULL budget you double to make your “break even” guesstimate.

      • Sal U. Lloyd says:

        I don’t know, Iron-bar Door, I don’t normally hang out at the toy section!

  7. Ben says:

    For context – it is still about $200 million in the red ink, (probably more) so it is too early to have a party at WB.

    • man1985 says:

      No its not.

      • therealeverton says:

        You’re right, close to $300m from box office, but there’s no way it fails to make a box office profit now, even if it does slow down and continues to do “average” business in Asia.

  8. therealeverton says:

    In international markets the film will have either or,/ Both The Huntsman and the Jungle Book to deal with starting in about 4 days time. (As far as American big films go.) There’s plenty of local competition on the way also.

    Given it’s a global gross you’re reporting, maybe that’s information that should be included.

    • Sal U. Lloyd says:

      Therealaversion, who the blank cares about the HUNTSMAN??? The only time Hemmingsworth has a hit is when he plays Thor!!!

      • therealeverton says:

        The millions of people who liked Snow White & The Huntsman, not to mention the millions of people who like this kind of film and the combination of people in it.

    • EricJ says:

      Not to mention, if Warner-boosters are counting on Japan and China to boost that “global box office”, might want to reconsider–
      Asian and some European countries don’t really -understand- our red-white-and-blue concept of cape superheroes, and while they’re “American” big-budget-Hollywood looking, they still didn’t outgross Doraemon and Koro-sensei in Tokyo. :)

      As for over here, good question: IS it going to be Meet the Blacks next weekend?
      Usually black-audience films are pushed up to #1 when there’s the lack of a mainstream hit for “white” audiences to show interest in, but will a Purge parody be different enough from the mounting garbage pile of black Paranormal Activity parodies to attract attention?

  9. Good Luck says:

    Variety publishes more whining about the movie’s success. Losers.

    • kylevpirate says:

      Lol nope. It fell a concerning 19% from it’s Monday to Tuesday gross and Boxoffice is expecting a bigger second weekend fall from the 65% that Man of Steel fell in 2013.

    • Lance says:

      This movie sucks and it’ll show next weekend…

      • Scott Poston says:

        Lance is crude buy correct. The movie stinks and it’s already doing a tank job after it’s weekend debut. The weekend numbers included huge drops, from day to day. Very bad sign.

      • Paul Goodwin says:

        Gee thanks Lance, without your erudite, and enlightened criticism, those of us who enjoyed the movie might actually go on thinking it was a good film and delivered what we wanted it to.

    • jhs39 says:

      The box office for Batman V Superman is going to be super front loaded because Warners released it everywhere at once to head off bad buzz. They also moved to from its original Summer release date in March to avoid competition–something you don’t do with a movie you have confidence in. Expect massive box office drop off globally in week two as reality sets in.

      • Scott Poston says:

        Yes, movies drop-off in the first week but nowhere like this one is dropping, day to day. I say it peaks at around 800 million, resulting in a disappointment for WB.

      • JR says:

        ALL movies drop-off in the second week. If there’s, say, a 50% drop-off, that’s healthy. Remember, there’s a repeat-business of 30%…more than most big movies…and there are still plenty of folks who have yet to see it for the FIRST time. (Most people I’ve spoken to are waiting for the crowds to dwindle a bit.) The movie will hit $1 billion easily…which bodes well for the DCU ahead.

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