We knew that Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice would drop at the box office in its second weekend. After posting a staggering $166 million in its opening weekend, there was really no place to go but down for the superhero team up. How far down has been the question, and we are starting to see the answer.
Figures are still flying in, but Batman v Superman seems to be on track to earn between $15 and $17 million on Friday night, according to Deadline. This would put BvS on track for a $51-$56 million weekend, amounting to a 69% drop from the previous weekend. The trade site does note that a rival studio is saying BvS could drop as much as 71% in its second weekend, despite the fact that it has no real competition at the theatrical window outside of the religious drama God’s Not Dead 2.
UPDATE: BoxOfficeMojo now reports that Batman v Superman earned $15.35 million on Friday, which amounts to an 81% drop from the previous Friday.
Deadline cites bad reviews for Batman v Superman’s drop, but that’s kind of ridiculous. Dawn of Justice is the definition of "critic proof," as those who were going to see the blockbuster likely rushed right out to see the launching of the DC Cinematic Universe, as curated by Zack Snyder. The right answer likely is word of mouth that is contributing to Batman v Superman’s steep drop. If the movie had been better received, the curious who steered clear on opening weekend might have drifted to the box office to see what all of the fuss was about. The comparison to J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens is apt. Buzz on the first Star Wars film in years was overwhelmingly positive, leading to several weeks of significant box office results. Dawn of Justice doesn’t look to be as lucky.
Does this necessarily spell doom for the DC Universe? Not exactly. As Deadline points out, steep drops are the norm when a movie opens as big as Batman v Superman does. Last year, Furious 7 opened to a whopping $147 million opening, then dropped to a $59M second weekend… or a 60% decline. And Furious 7 was considered a massive hit for that long-running franchise. Currently, a 2005 film named Undiscovered holds the record for the steepest second-weekend box office drop, with 86.4%, according to BoxOfficeMojo.
All of this being said, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice already has earned $209 million in the U.S., and $538 million globally, after one week in theaters. It might not reach Avatar levels, but I think we can say that this one will earn Warner Bros. some bank. Are you seeing it again this weekend? Why, or why not?