Box-office records are being broken more regularly nowadays. It usually feels good when these movies show the growing reach of Hollywood while at the same time attaining new scales of imagination in their work. Last year Jurassic World first set a new opening weekend record in North America, eclipsing that of The Avengers, and then its record fell later in the year with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The opening weekend record has not been broken by the latest big-budget blockbuster but it has achieved some other milestones. The massive $170 million (estimates) earned in North America by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a new opening record for Warner Bros., marginally better than the $169.1 million earned by the last movie of the Harry Potter series. This is also the biggest opening for a March release, better than the $152.5 million earned by The Hunger Games. This opening is bigger than the best opening seen in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, which was $160.8 million earned by The Dark Knight Rises. And it is also bigger than the opening of Man of Steel ($116.6 million). That’s not all. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opened in many foreign territories and has earned $424 million worldwide already. The movie’s production budget is massive at $250 million and the market expenses too would have been huge, which means the movie should be earning more than $750 million plus at least to start making some decent returns, or so I reckon. That figure would be achievable for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as the foreign markets would easily gulp the movie’s theme. In fact we are talking of a billion dollars potential here, and after this start, if the movie falls short of that mark then it will be disappointing for the studio. While the movie’s collections are terrific, it brings me to my initial statement that it usually feels good when new movies break old records. Well, in this case, it does not feel that way. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is nowhere close to being the movie that it was meant to be, it is nowhere close to being the movie that should be breaking records, and its 29% score on Rottentomatoes is a true reflection of where it stands. The critics were lukewarm to the film and the audience have given mixed reviews, but the movie’s opening shows that the premise of an iconic battle between Batman and Superman is not an event to be missed, no matter how bad the reviews turn out to be. If anything, this is a victory to the original creators of Batman and Superman and the subsequent men and women who have kept these legends alive in our hearts and minds. Add Wonder Woman, and it became difficult to stay away from the theatres. The marketing team at Warner Bros. got it spot on in the way they sold the film’s premise, and the colourful packaging has borne rich rewards. I hope the quality of the movies too improve in the upcoming DC cinematic universe, because the same packaging cannot be used to fool us twice.
In all the mayhem surrounding the Batman-Superman battle, Universal Pictures released the comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, a sequel to the 2002 hit. The $18 million budget movie earned a solid $18.1 million over the weekend and another $8 million globally to bring its cumulative total to $26.1 million. The movie should manage $50 million+ in North America and a decent global run will result in good profits to the studio. Comparisons with the original film are irrelevant, for the 2002 movie earned a massive $369 million worldwide on a shoe-string production budget of $5 million. Such figures are rarely recreated!
Zootopia continues its impressive form and has now become Disney’s second biggest animated movie with $697 million worldwide collections. See, these are the kind of movies that make you feel good when they do well! As expected, the drop for last week’s Miracles From Heaven was quite low at 36% and the movie has gathered a solid $34.5 million in North America till now ($13 million production budget). Same fate did not lie for The Divergent Series: Allegiant which dropped by a massive 67% in its second weekend; the domestic collections are weak at $46.6 million but better foreign collections have resulted in a worldwide tally of $118.4 million, which is still not going to lead it anywhere close to break-even. The studio should drastically cut down its production budget for the final movie, and simply get it done with. And just because I mentioned this movie’s name earlier, I would like to do so again – Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which is still playing in 500+ theatres in North America, has earned $2,061 million worldwide till date. Totally deserved!
Here are the top 5 weekend earners at the US box-office (estimates):
1. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($170.1 million)
2. Zootopia ($23.1 million; fourth weekend)
3. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 ($18.1 million)
4. Miracles From Heaven ($9.5 million; second weekend)
5. The Divergent Series: Allegiant ($9.5 million; second weekend)