‘Batman v Superman’ Hurtling Toward $170 Million Weekend With $82 Million Opening Day

Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is proving its immunity to the kryptonite of bad reviews, as the superhero battle pic took in $82 million on its opening Friday. Warner Bros.’ massive DC Comics tentpole should finish the weekend with more than $171 million, based on early studio estimates.

The blockbuster is already handily earning back its whopping $250 million budget. Unspooling in 4,242 locations, Zack Snyder’s follow-up to 2013’s “Man of Steel” took off Thursday night with $27.7 million in preview showings, notching a new high mark for highest Thursday preshow for an Easter Weekend (previously held by last year’s “Furious 7” with $15.8 million).

Should “BvS” make as much as $180 million this weekend, it will become the fifth highest domestic opener ever. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” broke the record for top U.S. opening weekend with $248 million in December, smashing the mark set in June by “Jurassic World” at $208.8 million. Disney’s “Marvel’s The Avengers” is in the third spot at $207.4 million, followed by the studio’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” at $191 million. “Batman v Superman” will inevitably set a new record for biggest March launch, held currently by the original “Hunger Games” (2012).

Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot star in this “Justice League” setup. Though many critics have been unkind, fans are turning up in droves across the globe. The film is unspooling on 19,700 screens in 39 territories.

Those averse to the heavy violence of the DC Comics world are seeking out lighter fare like “Zootopia” and “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2,” which finished Friday in distant second and third places, respectively. “Zootopia,” now in its fourth weekend of play, took in $9.6 million Friday from 3,670 locations. Disney’s animated animal romp should generate a three-day total of $23-$24 million, popping its domestic cume above $240 million.

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” bowed Friday against “Dawn of Justice,” taking in $7.2 million from 3,133 locations. The family comedy ought to rack up $20 million by Sunday’s end. Universal Pictures, Gold Circle Entertainment, HBO and Playtone’s sequel to the 2002 original finished its run with a global take of $368 million.

Lionsgate’s second weekend of “The Divergent Series: Allegiant” should tally $9 million, as the Shailene Woodley starrer took in $3.7 million on Friday from 3,740 locations.Sony’s Jennifer Garner-toplined faith-based pic “Miracles From Heaven” continues to draw the Easter-celebrating audience, having pulled in $3.3 million Friday from 3,047 locations. The religious drama, now in its second weekend, is on track for a three-day total of $9 million. It picked up $15 million in its first frame.