‘Batman vs. Superman’ Breaks a Bunch of Opening Records With $424 Million Worldwide

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had quite the weekend — not only did it break the March opening record previously held by The Hunger Games, but with $424 million worldwide, Zack Snyder’s epic now boasts the highest opening weekend for a Warner Bros. superhero movie. All those negative reviews predictably had zero effect on audiences, who flocked to see the long-awaited showdown between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel.

UPDATE: After final numbers came in, Batman v Superman brought in a lower-than-expected $166.1 million this weekend. That means it is not the biggest opening weekend for Warner Bros., falling behind Deathly Hallows, Part 2. That brings its final worldwide numbers to $420 million. Original post is below.

Batman v Superman brought in $170.1 million at the U.S. box office, giving it the biggest March opening weekend of all time. The Hunger Games previously held the record with its $152.5 million when it opened back in March 2012. But that’s not the only record Snyder’s film broke — with the widest pre-summer release on record, Batman v Superman also had the biggest pre-summer opening (another record that belonged to The Hunger Games), the biggest Easter weekend opening (besting Furious 7), and the biggest superhero movie opening for Warner Bros. (previously held by The Dark Knight Rises).

In addition, Batman v Superman had the highest-grossing opening weekend in WB history, beating out Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2‘s opening of $169.2 million in 2011.

Add to that the $254 million the film generated on an additional 40,000 screens worldwide, and the global gross is $424 million — which is the biggest superhero movie opening ever.

$424 million is a lot, even by Bruce Wayne’s standards, but the question remains: Can Batman v Superman reach $1 billion? Snyder’s film has already made a ton of money, but it also cost a ton of money to make, with a reported budget of $250 million before marketing costs. And there have been a lot of marketing costs, as WB has been teasing the film out for over two years now.

Reports indicate that Batman v Superman needs to make $1 billion to be considered successful, making its second weekend in theaters crucial in determining the viability of Snyder and WB’s DC movie universe. With a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 29 percent, reviews have been mostly negative, and though film critics clearly had no real effect on the box office, the negative word-of-mouth from general audiences could result in a sizable drop next weekend.

The audience score for Batman v Superman on Rotten Tomatoes is 73 percent, which seems okay — but when you examine audience reactions to other recent superhero films, the continued success of Batman v Superman becomes more uncertain. Deadpool received a 92 percent approval rating, while Avengers: Age of Ultron came in at 84 percent.

To be fair, let’s look at the respective ratings for Batman and Superman’s previous outings, which were both similarly divisive. The Dark Knight Rises was the weakest in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, but it holds an 87 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with an audience score of 90 percent. Snyder’s Man of Steel fared only somewhat better than Batman v Superman, with a critic score of 56 percent and a 76 percent score from the audience.

Man of Steel made $116.6 million in its opening weekend, with $291 million domestic and $668 million worldwide when all was said and done. Batman v Superman is clearly already out-performing Snyder’s previous superhero outing, which bodes well for WB’s future Justice League plans.

Again, next week will be crucial for Batman v Superman, and while films typically experience a drop in their second weekends, it’s the size of that drop that matters.

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