Critical reception be damned, Warner Brothers’ $250M superhero epic had one of the biggest opening days of all time, and seems set to easily land on the very high end of expectations.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice took in a stellar $82M on its opening day, which included $27.7M from early Thursday night previews, just a hair above the $27.6M earned by last summers Avengers: Age of Ultron. While that does sound a bit more front loaded than usual, the early shows started at 6PM, essentially adding another day to its weekend.
Roughly 32% of the films opening day came from those previews, which isn’t terrible all things considered. The film easily took in the highest number for a pre-summer Thursday release, and seems likely that it will push $170M for the weekend. That’s enough to handily top the March opening record of The Hunger Games ($152.5M) and the four day start of Deadpool ($152M). Unless something really drastic happens on Saturday, it seems very likely that Batman V Superman is going to crush both of those films.
However, it’s not all good. The film received a very poor B from Cinemascore, which makes it seem likely that it will have a very large Friday to Saturday drop. In comparison, Avengers: Age of Ultron had a nearly identical Thursday percent of opening day and plummeted 33% on its second day, despite much better audience and critical reception. Dawn of Justice may wind up having one of the most front loaded weekends on record if this trend stays true.
Outside of first place, Zootopia was also extremely impressive. Despite massive competition, the film dropped just 0.8% from last Friday, and may actually see an increase from last weekend, something completely unprecedented in just about any genre.
In third place, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 did a solid $7.2M on Friday, possibly leading to a weekend close to $20M. It didn’t seem as though there could be much interest for a film released 14 years later, but it served as decent counterprogramming for an older audience not interested in superheroes. The film received a strong A- Cinemascore, and should be able to hold well in the coming weeks.
In fourth place, The Divergent Series: Allegiant plummeted 70% to $3.65M. After 8 days in theaters, the film has pulled in a pathetic $40.7M, less than either of the other films did in their opening weekend. At this point, it doesn’t seem likely that the film will top the $70M mark domestically. Lionsgate has already responded to this by slashing the budget of the upcoming sequel, Ascendant, set to hit theaters next summer. Between this and the end of the Maze Runner franchise on the horion, it seems like the YA trend may finally be coming to an end.