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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by The Dawn Of Klady

Weekend Esitmates2016-03-27 at 9.26.04 AM

Batman v Opening Weekend Box Office has almost always been won by the bat. In 27 years, there have been 8 Batman movies. Four Batman films broke the domestic opening weekend record when they were released. One was the #2 opening of all time when it opened and another the #7 opening of all time on its release. The only Batman film that did open to record or near-record numbers was Batman Begins, which followed the steep-dropping dog Batman & Robin which had a then-unproven director, in commercial terms, at the helm.

Batman v Superman shows, once again, that whatever the box office moment, no matter how bad the review, people want to see Batman. And they did. Our estimate for the weekend is a little lower than Warner Bros, the exclusive significance of which is that Potter 7a opening a million or so better and by estimating high, WB can say this is its best opening in studio history.

Anyway… these are simple facts. The judgment of what this opening means is… it opened well. There is no sane dismissal of this opening. It is, in fact, only the fourth best opening of the last year. But that is unkind on some level. There have only been seven openings of this size in movie history and you have to give the devil his due. It’s not $200 million… but shut up.

The question will be the legs and the international number. International had a very strong start too, though only TDK Rises has really been a Batman movie in the era of the wildly expanding international gross. No Batman movie has ever failed to gross at least 2.5x opening. On the other hand, 3 of the 6 other all-time top openers failed to get to 2.5x opening. So take the side you think is more significant in the over/under on $400 million domestic for BvS.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 counterprogrammed BvS as the parents and grandparents drop the kids off at the multiplex. It did okay. The Friday numbers were strong enough to make Sat/Sun a little disappointing. But this opening is solid. High 40s or low 60s, this one will be a pale shadow of the original, which was the last vestige of an exhibition era that encouraged long runs. That original film did a lot of international business ($127m), so given that there is an audience for this material and there is more worldwide exhibition, it could make a killing (relative to domestic) there.

WB had the #2 per-screen hit of the weekend too… Jeff Nichols’ Midnight Special, starring BvS cameo Michael Shannon. The real question for this movie will be expansion. There are surely 20 more markets that will be hot for this film… but beyond that, it’s not so clear. But WB has to feel pretty good about getting this one started on the right track.

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22 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by The Dawn Of Klady”

  1. EthanG says:

    ZOOTOPIA and DEADPOOL remain this year’s box office stories, BvS or not.

    $300 milion/$850 million worldwide looks likely for the former, numbers that have simply never been seen outside of the summer/holiday seasons for a cartoon (and almost never period for an original). For pre-May it’ll easily be the 3rd biggest movie ever worldwide, behind FURIOUS 7 and ALICE. Yes, China has been massive, but even without it, it’s been a remarkable run, with Japan still to come.

    DEADPOOL is days away from toppling AMERICAN SNIPER domestically and MATRIX RELOADED worldwide for the R-rated worldwide record, as well as passing recent hits FURIOUS 7 and INSIDE OUT domestically. The totals are more remarkable when you keep in mind the China ban. The PASSION domestic record remains elusive thanks to its EASTER resurrection.

  2. Pj Edwards says:

    BvS is a success. 4th best worldwide opening of all time. Though its not an overly enthusiastic one, but a success all the same with likely 400M domestic, 600M overseas and 1B total. Viewed solely as a sequel to MOS, which it pretty much was with Batman and Wonder Woman cameos, it increased big over its predecessor. Showing once again that critics were just trying to make fetch happen.

  3. EtGuild2 says:

    Whoops…didn’t realize I was on my old handle.

    I think it’s too early to declare BvS as an unvarnished success. It VERY LIKELY is. But remember “Spider Man 3” opened to $380 million plus worldwide and limped to $890 million, leading to a reassessment of the franchise’s direction. Not saying this will happen at all, but the sample size of massively opening crappy superhero movies is pretty limited.

  4. Sideshow Bill says:

    Really looking forward to the Midnight Special expansion. Hope it hits my town. Shannon is probably my favorite working actor, after PS Hoffman passed away. And I loved Take Shelter.

  5. Stella's Boy says:

    Same here Bill. Hoping Milwaukee gets it Friday but the 8th is probably more likely. So excited.

    Why do some folks need to so aggressively convince themselves and others that something is a hit and critics are wrong? Like BvS all you want, and who cares how much money it makes or what anyone else says?

  6. Amblinman says:

    “Viewed solely as a sequel to MOS, which it pretty much was with Batman and Wonder Woman cameos,”? Yeah, no. This in no way can be considered a sequel to MoS. Batman is IN THE TITLE. Its as much a Batman movie as anything else. That would be like saying Avengers was a sequel to Captain America, First Avenger.

  7. poet67 says:

    Or like saying Captain America: Civil War is a sequel to The Avengers? Crazy.

  8. Amblinman says:

    Why yes. Yes that is crazy.

  9. Sideshow Bill says:

    I’m just outside of chicago, Stella’s. I imagine they’ll get Midnight if they don’t already. I won’t go into the city unless I have to. Hopefully we’ll get it in my town on the 8th. I never expected us to get The Witch and we did. At worst I’ll go to Aurora.

  10. Stella's Boy says:

    When Midnight Special was initially announced, based on the studio, cast, director, and budget (like $40 million or so right?) I assumed it was intended to be wide release. Did that change or was it always intended to be released like this? Does BvS have anything to do with the strategy? Would maybe August have been a better release date? And at this point how do you decide your course of action? Hope the buzz and anticipation continue to build, and eventually go wide, or go wide quicker to capitalize on the strong reviews and limited release numbers? I find movies like this interesting case studies. It’s got a major studio behind it plus a recognizable cast, but it gets the indie limited release and expansion treatment.

  11. EtGuild2 says:

    Just realized we’ll be 3 and a half months into the year with three 300 million+ domestic grossers, and a single film grossing between 90-300 million.

    This is not good for cinema.

  12. CG says:

    David, I’ve seen pieces at Forbes and elsewhere that observed that the day-to-day drops for BVS were huge. Is that a sign of box office to come or something we should ignore?

  13. palmtree says:

    WB would certainly like to ignore it, but I’m guessing they can’t.

  14. palmtree says:

    It means 400m domestic is not assured for BvS. My guess is it closes just shy of 400m.

  15. Glamourboy says:

    Completely off-topic…a producer friend is trying to convince me that Ben Hur actor, Jack Huston is the next big thing. Is anyone hearing the same thing?

  16. EtGuild2 says:

    @Glamour, way late to the discussion on this but Huston was due to break out years ago after his incredible performance in ME AND ORSON WELLES. If that didn’t help him, nothing will.

  17. palmtree says:

    And also how about the fact that he’s a Huston? Literally, he comes from one of most storied moviemaking families ever.

  18. Hallick says:

    “@Glamour, way late to the discussion on this but Huston was due to break out years ago after his incredible performance in ME AND ORSON WELLES. If that didn’t help him, nothing will.”

    I’m not finding Jack Huston in the cast of that one. Are you confusing him with Christian McKay who played Orson Welles?

  19. Ray Pride says:

    Christian McKay could use more exposure under his own name!

  20. Fitz says:

    Ray, by the way, that was really well done review of The Invitation. Great read and captured my thoughts about the movie.

  21. leahnz says:

    ooh, i just saw ‘the invitation’ again (liked it even more the second time, caught more details and subtext) and had read hardly any reviews so Ray’s was a good place to start – succinct and insightful, descriptive yet unspoilery, rather poetic, my feelings about the movie pretty well summed up too


    (i see JCL called variations of calmly sinister/creepy in reviews, which certainly isn’t untrue, but i’m such a fan of his truly delightful turn as norm gunderson – wherein he and mcdormand bring such warmth and tenderness and subtle good humour and affectionate supportiveness to the mundane daily comforts of marriage – that i feel compelled to say “don’t forget lovely norm!” when i see his name)

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