[UPDATE: According to The Hollywood Reporter, the total worldwide gross is actually $420.1 million. The final domestic gross for opening weekend was $166.1 million, slightly lower than the original gross estimate.]
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice may be a divisive film, but it’s not a box office bomb in the slightest. Zack Snyder’s set-up for the DC Movieverse took in a whopping $170.1 million in the United States during its opening weekend. The film took in an additional $254 million overseas, for a combined worldwide opening of $424.1 million. This is the biggest superhero movie opening of all time, the biggest March opening of all time, and Warner Bros. second biggest opening of all time (behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2).
You may recall those rumors of worried Warner Bros execs given the divisive early responses the movie was getting even before the critical drubbing. In terms of the film’s overall box office performance, they might not have too much to worry about in terms of breaking even. Some industry folks have estimated that the movie has to make around $700 million-$800 million to break even given the budget and the massive marketing push. (Some estimates even place the magic break-even number at a cool billion.)
Even with a standard week-to-week drop in returns, $800 million seems like a doable target. They’re more than halfway there already, and there’s no real competition this weekend, at least in the United States. Batman v Superman can make it into the billion mark if things continue to go well, which means swimming in the money bin time. But you know what they say about counting chickens before the eggs have hatched, so we’ll have to stay tuned on this front.
The supposed worry on the part of Warner Bros execs may extend to the creative end of things. Without getting into spoilers, Batman v Superman sets up a lot of story threads for the 2017 and 2019 Justice League films. The movie teases a major threat that puts the heroes of the DC universe in great peril, and also a major problem that potentially puts the DC heroes at a disadvantage.
Justice League starts shooting on April 11th with Snyder on to direct parts 1 and 2. It’ll be interesting to see in what direction they take this story. If Dawn of Justice tries to do two or three movies worth of stuff in 2.5 hours, the Justice League films may similarly be trying to put four or five movies worth of material into just two films.
Batman v Superman also makes me wonder about Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman, two of the nine slated DC movies coming out through 2020. I wonder how the stories in those films will touch on the various elements that Dawn of Justice introduces. Ben Affleck may also be working on a solo Batman movie with writer Geoff Johns, and it makes me wonder what that will be like given the characterization of Batman in this film. It might be a couple years away given how crowded the DC movie schedule looks at the moment.
Did you see Batman v Superman over the weekend? What did you think? Let us know in the comments.[via Coming Soon]