The One Box-Office Record ‘Batman vs. Superman’ Didn’t Want to Break

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Warner Bros.

Batman vs. Superman made a lot of money over its opening weekend. Even after it was adjusted slightly (after the final numbers came in, it brought in $166.1 million compared to the originally reported $170.1 million), Batman vs. Superman still brought in $420 million worldwide and Warner Bros. was rightfully “very proud” of the film’s success. The film broke records for the biggest pre-summer opening, the biggest Easter weekend opening and the biggest superhero movie opening for Warner Bros. But, there was one box-office record Batman vs. Superman broke that it definitely did not want to break.

According to Forbes, Batman vs. Superman has set the record for the worst Friday-to-Sunday decline in ticket sales in modern box office history. The film dropped from $82 million on Friday to $37 million on Sunday, a decline of 55%. That’s a full 7% worse than last summer’s Fantastic Four, which dropped 48% over the same time frame.

Defenders may be quick to point out that Sunday was Easter, which could’ve accounted for the decline, but that doesn’t explain the equally as poor Friday-to-Saturday decline of 38%, the second worst Friday-to-Saturday drop in history. If this math keeps up, early indications put Batman vs. Superman just over $400 million domestically, around $200 million less than the first Avengers.

What likely accounts for the drop is that early adopters were quick to purchase their tickets well in advance, attending the first showings on Friday. Those purchases were not affected by the bad reviews and poor word of mouth, which likely impacted potential moviegoers later in the weekend.

And it’s not just here in the United States. Batman vs. Superman opened in China to $19 million on opening day. Not bad until you realize Avengers: Age of Ultron opened to $36 million.

Let’s be clear: Batman vs. Superman is far from a flop. It earned enough in one weekend to please Warner Bros. executives, but even though they’re pleased, they may not be entirely satisfied. If Batman vs. Superman was a film that was resonating with audiences (agree with it or not, the online buzz surround this film has been largely negative), it could easily gross another $200 million, giving it Marvel and Avengers type numbers. With Justice League about to start filming next month, surely the studio will want director Zack Snyder to listen to the critics.

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