Robert Pattinson’s moody superhero adventure “The Batman” prevailed at the box office again.
The Warner Bros. film earned $66 million from 4,417 North American theaters in its second weekend of release, propelling its domestic tally to a robust $238.5 million. After only 10 days on the big screen, “The Batman” ranks as the highest-grossing movie of 2022, as well as the second-highest grossing film since the onset of COVID-19. Only “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” which has generated a stellar $792 million in North America, has earned more money at the domestic box office in the past two years.
Ticket sales for “The Batman” declined 51% from its $134 million debut, a better hold than most comic book tentpoles — pandemic or not. Recent COVID-era releases, such as “The Suicide Squad,” “Eternals,” “Black Widow” and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” plummeted anywhere from 53% to 71% in their sophomore outings. And other DC adaptations, including “Justice League,” “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Wonder Woman,” dipped between 43% to 69% after its inaugural weekend.
At the international box office, “The Batman” earned $66.6 million from 75 overseas market, taking its global total to a huge $463.2 million.
Positive reviews and strong word-of-mouth have kept audiences coming back to “The Batman,” which co-stars Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman and Paul Dano as the Riddler. Directed by Matt Reeves, the PG-13 “The Batman” — which runs at a butt-numbing three hours — takes a gritty look at Bruce Wayne’s earlier days as “the world’s greatest detective.”
The $200 million-budgeted “The Batman” has been a needed commercial smash for Warner Bros. After releasing its entire 2021 film slate simultaneously on HBO Max, “The Batman” is the studio’s first exclusive theatrical release in more than 12 months. Going forward, Warner Bros. has announced plans to keep its movies in cinemas for 45 days before putting its new titles on HBO Max.
Without any new nationwide releases, “The Batman” had no trouble towering over domestic charts. In a distant second place, Tom Holland’s video game adaptation “Uncharted” nabbed $9.2 million from 3,725 North American venues. After four weeks of release, the PG-13 action-adventure has earned $113 million. “Uncharted” has also been popular internationally, adding $11.2 million over the weekend and taking its overseas total to $187.9 million. With $301 million globally, “Uncharted” continues Sony’s streak of box office smashes following “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home”
A live-stream of “BTS Permission to Dance on Stage: Seoul” concert landed in third place, bringing in $7 million from 803 theaters. That kind of turnout is basically blockbuster status for a “live viewing” event, especially since it played in fewer than 1,000 locations. In a rare, one-night-only engagement, HYBE and Trafalgar Releasing also brought the concert — which was held in South Korea — to movie theaters across the globe. At the worldwide box office, the screenings raked in a huge $32.6 million from 75 theatrical markets.
At No. 4, Channing Tatum’s PG-13 canine adventure “Dog” made $5.3 million from 3,407 venues. Those receipts bring the film’s domestic tally to $47.8 million. “Spider-Man: No Way Home” finished the weekend in fifth place, earning $4.07 million from 2,702 screens. Sony’s comic book behemoth has managed to stay in the top five since its debut, which is impressive because the film opened in theaters 13 weeks ago.
Until Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum’s romantic comedy “The Lost City” hits the big screen on March 25, “The Batman” will have free rein over movie theater marquees. Though attendance and ticket sales have struggled to rebound, Hollywood is hoping that several upcoming releases, such as “Morbius,” “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” and “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” will help box office revenues inch closer to pre-pandemic heights.
“If moviegoing reaches a level that’s down -20% from 2019 levels before the end of the year, that would be a very good result,” says David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research.