Weekend Box Office: ‘Batman V Superman’ Breaks March Record With A Massive $170.1 Million Opening

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice earned an estimated $170.1 million domestic this weekend, making it the sixth biggest opening weekend of all time behind Iron Man 3, and setting a new record for Warner Brothers, a DC property, and the month of March. Worldwide, it earned $424.1 million, putting it fourth all-time (not adjusted for inflation). Obviously, it’s also the new biggest of 2016. It was ahead of even The Dark Knight Rises ($160 million). Other facts:

Batman v Superman opened 32% higher than Man of Steel, which is comparable to the 25% bump between Iron Man and Iron Man 2. [Forbes]

-It was also the largest Easter opening, topping the $147.1 million brought in by Furious 7 last year as well as the largest opening for a film based on a DC Comics property, a record previously held by The Dark Knight Rises at $160.8 million. [BoxOfficeMojo]

Plenty of headlines are painting Batman V Superman‘s solid performance as some kind of repudiation of critics, or evidence of the long-discussed critics/audience divide – this beautiful quote from an anonymous important guy being just one example:

“I think some of it was a backlash from the consumers to the critics,” said one exhibition industry executive. [THR]

Meanwhile, BvS‘s lackluster B Cinemascore seems mostly in keeping with critical reaction. It also had a very frontloaded 2.07x weekend multiplier (the three-day gross divided by opening day), meaning lots of people showed up on opening day and audiences sort of fell off after that, but interpret that number how you will. Regardless, I’m sure Warner Bros are feeling relieved after dropping $250 million on BvS, not including marketing and advertising. It needed to be big and it was.

The only other wide release of the weekend was My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, which turned out to be the perfect counter programming, and earned $18.12 million domestically on budget that couldn’t have been much more than that. It received an A- Cinemascore, which seems pretty low for people who deliberately went to see a movie called “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2,” but I digress. The original, which was produced and championed by Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, opened on just 109 screens in 2002, and went on to earn on unbelievable $241 million. This while its widest release was 2,016 theaters (the sequel opened in 3,133) and its biggest weekend was $11.1 million. It would actually be a really cool story if the movie itself wasn’t so terrible. Anyway, most analysts are predicting $50 to $60 million range for the sequel.

Next week brings us God’s Not Dead 2 (I love that title so much), with limited releases for Everybody Wants Some!!, Miles Ahead, and Meet The Blacks.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice $170,100,000 $40,099 $170,100,00
2 Zootopia $23,138,000 (-37.7) $6,305 $240,547,000
3 My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 $18,120,000 $5,784 $18,120,000
4 Miracles From Heaven $9,500,000 (-35.9) $3,118 $34,127,000
5 Allegiant $9,500,000 (-67.3)
$2,540 $46,605,496
6 10 Cloverfield Lane $6,000,000 (-52.0) $2,141 $56,010,797
7 Deadpool $5,000,000 (-37.6) $2,140 $349,472,050
8 London Has Fallen $2,926,000 (-57.3) $1,347 $55,614,857
9 Hello, My Name Is Doris $1,575,000 (+57.8) $3,227 $3,142,764
10 Eye in the Sky $1,001,204 (+136.9) $8,140 $1,723,311

[chart via ScreenCrush]