Batman v Superman was the #1 film for the weekend but “plunged” 68% in its second frame, as the trades like to put it. This is not entirely out of line with some other films, Deadline helpfully points out — Furious 7 dropped 60%, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 fell 72% — so it’s not entirely unexpected. Given the hostile reviews and mixed audience reaction, it’s really am Easter miracle that the film has done as well as it has. Despite all this, it’s still a huge worldwide hit, and WB is staying the course:
Warner Bros. also dismisses any concern, saying BvS remains a formidable player after breaking a number of records in its debut, including nabbing the best March opening of all time domestically and the No. 1 superhero debut at the worldwide box office. The studio also notes it has already passed the entire lifetime runs of titles including Ant-Man, Thor, Wolverine and Captain America. “We’re not concerned with the drop,” said Warners domestic distribution chief Jeff Goldstein. “No matter how you slice it, to get to $52 million on any given weekend is an enormous accomplishment. We’re most focused on where we are in total. And our global number is huge.”
I’m looking forward to the inevitable post mortems, besides rumors of making Suicide SQuad more “fun”, and Deadline offers a bit of a peep inside the studio, which has pinned so much of its future to the DC franchise family:
Agita resides at the studio as Snyder, who became too intoxicated by the Dark Knight-and-the-son-of Jor’El brawl, hasn’t reignited the DC franchise in a way that J.J. Abrams did for Disney and Star Wars. It’s going to take more than a visual stylist to move these DC films forward. Christopher Nolan was able to turn these dark DC stories into the smart Dark Knight series, but many argue that Snyder has thrown everything and the kitchen sink at BvS. On social media, per Relish Mix, Jesse Eisenberg’s turn as Lex Luther ticked fans off. WB is now tasked with proving to critics and fans why Snyder is the guy for the Justice League job, and must seriously consider content improvements moving forward in DC 2.0.
I’ll tell you one thing, after watching BvS my #1 thought was that Zack Snyder should make horror films, because that’s obviously where his affinity lies. It’s easy to pick holes in Snyder interviews, as when Screen Crush dinged him for thinking a storyline about killing a Robin is “fun.”
Once again, Snyder uses the word “fun” to describe something that is decidedly un-fun. It’s almost as if there’s a mandate going around Warner Bros. insisting that everyone must use the word “fun” in any interviews about Batman v Superman and the DC movie universe. First there was Snyder explaining that brutal Jimmy Olsen cameo as “fun,” then there was the recent interview in which a WB exec said Batman v Superman is “fun” and “doesn’t take itself seriously.”
It’s also easy to ding anxious studio execs who are so in the weeds that they have lost touch with normal human emotions, but I can sympathize. There’s a lot of money at stake.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.