Sep 24, 2020
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Box Office: ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice’ Was A $855M Wash

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Batman v Superman image courtesy of Warner Bros. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has been in worldwide theatrical release five weeks. And in that time it has earned $321 million in North America and $855m worldwide. It has offhand around $10m domestic and another $10-$15m overseas within the tank meaning it will probably top out at around $875-$885m globally

 

There has been near constant debate since its opening weekend about whether the film is a massive hit or an enormous disappointment. And yet that’s neither an outright winner nor an unmitigated loser. Regarding gross versus intended impact that’s Even Steven: The Movie (not to be confused with The Even Stevens Movie)

 

First the good news: The film snagged a $166. 1 million opening weekend including a boffo $81. 5m opening day and a mammoth $422m worldwide debut (the fourth-biggest ever). It showed that that there’s a large audience for the big-budget cinematic exploits of the DC Comics superheroes (as long as Batman is involved). In terms of superhero movies it sits behind only Spider-Man 3 The Dark Knight The Dark Knight Rises Iron Man 3 Avengers: Age of Ultron and The Avengers worldwide

 

It’s the 10th biggest Warner Bros. / Time Warner Inc. release ever worldwide and their fifth biggest hit in America. Of note adding the Dark Knight played by Ben Affleck no less could have only been worth about $25-30 million in America however it was a contributor to the $200-$215m in boosted overseas grosses compared to Man of Steel ($291m U

 

S. /$668m worldwide). Presuming the film cost in the direction of the official $250 million budget in place of the rumored $420m (which is probably including marketing per usual) the film earned an excellent 3. 5x its budget in theatrical alone. And if it did cost in the direction of $400m well that doesn t mean that Warner Bros

 

Rat Pac and friends ought to spend that much whenever the Holy Trinity gets together. Regarding raw dollars grossed Zack Snyder s Dawn of Justice was a big hit here and abroad. If Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice were merely fascinated about building off the relative success of Man of Steel that would be enough

 

However the film was meant to be something of a gap shot in Warner Bros. new DC Extended Universe a backdoor pilot for Justice League that was intended to kick off a slate of DC movies over the subsequent five years. The goal of the film was not only to earn money but to inspire positive fandom to get general audiences enthusiastic about what s coming down the pike

 

And in that sense that’s arguably an entire failure. PROMOTED Grads of Life BRANDVOICE | Paid Program
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Gallery: Batman v Superman: The Box Office Battle Decades In The Making
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View gallery The film received terrible reviews ahead of its release (my mixed-negative review turned out to be one of the kinder ones) and had a miserable 2

 

03x weekend multiplier. Those issues weren’t necessarily indicators of doom. Star Wars: The Force Awakens had a barely-2x weekend multiplier ($247m weekend divided by a $119m Friday) and every Transformers sequel gets terrible reviews. However the film fell 68% on its second weekend the most important ever for a big-budget comic book superhero movie

 

Ultimately the film will earn around $330m in America or simply under 2x its opening weekend. That s the bottom multiplier for a big-budget comic book movie outside of Zack Snyder s Watchmen and Jonah Hex. The film flamed out overseas as well earning 46% of its eventual over/under $550 million overseas cume in those first five days easily the worst multiplier for a big opener

 

The poor reviews and relatively mediocre (or indifferent) word-of-mouth created a narrative centered on what went wrong (narrative illogic that resembled incoherence too little Superman a bleak and kid-unfriendly tone too little action an excessive amount of time spent constructing Justice League etc. ). The film did not inspire excitement for what comes next but rather a mix of indifference and fear

 

Had the film made significantly less money the entire franchise may have been put on the proverbial backburner and/or rebooted yet again. Had the film been better received and/or made extra money (like that magical $1 billion mark and/or Batman Begins-level praise) then everyone will be thrilled or at least cautiously optimistic and Suicide Squad will be something of a victory lap

 

However the film split the difference. It made various money but inspired little love. There are plenty of well-marketed presold movies which have made money despite audience disapproval or indifference. But this isn t The Flintstones as John Goodman s hype-driven 1994 smash was not intended to launch a sequence of Hanna Barbara movies

 

As such it’s the definition of a glass half full/glass half empty situation. The would-be way forward for the DCEU is more-or-less in an identical destination unknown territory that it was after Man of Steel. We don t know if Warner Bros. likely attempts to emphasize how different the likes of Wonder Woman and Suicide Squad are from Dawn of Justice will be successful (I fear more for the World War I-set Wonder Woman prequel)

 

We can still walk into Justice League part I in November of 2017 with little idea of what to expect both regarding artistic merits and monetary reception. If the rest of the DCEU impresses then the DCEU may have pulled off the superheroic job of sustaining a successful franchise off of two somewhat underwhelming initial efforts

 

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a winner because it will earn around $330 million domestic and $880m worldwide in theaters. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a loser because it was loathed by critics it played out in theaters in near-record speed and it was greeted post-opening weekend with either outright hostility or relative indifference by nearly all of paying consumers

 

It proved that the DCEU may be a viable money maker but endangered the long-term welfare of this particular version of the DC Comics universe. To use a running joke Can this franchise be saved? Probably because the initial interest was clearly there and audiences will presumably embrace an excellent (and more kid-friendly) superhero movie featuring Batman Wonder Woman and their Super Friends released every week before Thanksgiving next year

 

Batman v Superman accomplished one goal (make money) but failed on the other goal (inspire excitement and confidence within the DCEU). In that sense Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice basically broke even

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