Weekend Box Office: “Dawn” Goes Down. Way Down.

Oof! Pow! Ouch! Zowie!

The sounds listed above were not a loving tribute to the 1960s Batman television series.

It was the sound of the second weekend box office of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.

The much-despised superhero flick took a sucker punch from ticket buyers, sliding a steep 68% in sales in its sophomore session on 4,256 screens. After ten days, Zack Snyder’s latest incomprehensible assault on the senses has taken in $261.4 million domestically and an additional $421 million from foreign markets. Great numbers for any film, as long as it doesn’t cost nearly $500 million to make and market.

It was widely anticipated that BvS would fall over 60%. Big event films always tend to bring in their biggest audiences during its first week of release and then come back down to earth after that. Plus, last weekend was a holiday frame, which tends to attract more ticket buyers than usual. But if ticket buyers like what they see –think The Force Awakens-, the drop tends not to go beyond 60%. The 68% drop for Dawn of Justice indicates that feedback among ticket buyers is not particularly good, and many are not going back for another round.

Without that crucial fan support, Batman V Superman’s reign over the spring box office will be short-lived. If the film takes another sizeable hit of 60% or more, chances are pretty good that the film may not make it past the $350 million mark domestically or $600 million overseas. Warner has stated that the film needed to make at least a billion dollars to break even.

One film that has benefitted greatly from word-of-mouth, and one that may eventually out-gross Batman V Superman, is Disney’s Zootopia. The smash hit cartoon earned an estimated $20 million from 3,698 theaters in its fifth week of release. The only other animated feature to have a fifth weekend of release as strong as Zootopia is Disney’s other recent animated monster, Frozen.

Off a mere 17%, Zootopia has earned a great $276 million so far and could finish its run around $335-340 million domestically. Its overseas total currently stands at $511.7 million, of which over $215 million has come from China. With nearly $800 million in the bank, the film stands a very good shot at hitting the billion-dollar club once it arrives in Japan on April 23rd.

Universal’s My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 had a solid second weekend thanks to an $11.1 million haul from 3,179 theaters. Off 38%, the belated sequel has banked $36.4 million to date and could work its way to $60 million. In fourth place was another sequel, God’s Not Dead 2, with $8.1 million from 2,419 theaters. The follow up flick to the surprise 2014 hit wasn’t a big hit with either critics or the public.

Another faith-based feature that has caught on with audiences, Miracles From Heaven, had another solid weekend. The Jennifer Garner-starrer earned an estimated $7.5 million from 3,155 screens, a decrease of 23% from its Easter weekend haul. After three weeks, the $13 million production has earned $47 million so far and could finish with roughly $65 million.

Outside the top five:

  1. The Divergent Series: Allegiant (Lionsgate) $5.7 million (-39%); $56.3 million
  1. 10 Cloverfield Lane (Paramount) $4.7 million (-20%); $63.5 million
  1. Meet the Blacks (Freestyle) $4 million; NEW
  1. Eye In the Sky (BST) $4 million; $6.1 million
  1. Deadpool (Fox) $3.5 million (-28%); $355 million

Next weekend sees the arrival of the Melissa McCarthy comedy The Boss and Hardcore Henry. If Dawn of Justice takes another swan dive in terms of attendance, The Boss should have no problem taking over the number one spot. Should it level out and drop less than 50%, then BvS will stay on top for a third weekend.

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice Review

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