Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice takes steep fall at US box office

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The superhero film fell a steep 68% in its second weekend in US theaters, according to studio estimates, but remained in first place over Zootopia.
Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice fell by a steep 68% in its second weekend in US movie theaters according to comScore estimates released on Sunday. The superhero film earned an estimated $52.4m over the weekend, easily besting the modest new openers like God’s Not Dead 2 and Meet the Blacks.
The Zack Snyder movie cost a reported $250m to produce and around $150m to market, and has earned an estimated $261.5m to date.
It is a critical launching point for a series of interconnected movies in the DC Comics Universe from Warner Bros that will include this year’s Suicide Squad and next year’s Wonder Woman and two Justice League movies, which is why its early performance – and hold – are being so intensely scrutinized.
Superhero movies tend to be frontloaded with fans, and a near 60% fall is not uncommon for major blockbusters in weekend two.
“Sometimes the bigger they are the harder they fall,” said Paul Dergarabedian, comScore’s senior media analyst. “This is often what happens when you have films that rank in the top 10 debuts of all time.”
Snyder’s Man of Steel, for instance, fell 64.6% in its second weekend, and even The Dark Knight Rises dropped a hefty 61.4%. Things aren’t terribly different in the Marvel universe either. Disney’s Avengers: Age of Ultron tumbled 59.4% and Fox’s X-Men: Days of Future Past plunged 64.2%.
Also, the first week Batman v Superman haul included the $27.7m from Thursday night preview showings, whereas the second weekend sum does not account for those. The Friday of Easter weekend is also a holiday for many, making a straight comparison not entirely equitable.
Still, 68% is on the steeper side for a second week fall. Last year’s much derided Fantastic Four reboot fell 68.2% and the divisive X-Men Origins: Wolverine dropped 69% in 2009.
In weekend one, many wondered whether the poor reviews would kill the film out of the gates, but it ended up earning $166m regardless.
“This has been a poster child in illustrating the disconnect between critics and audience,” Dergarabedian said.
The second weekend, however, is where word of mouth starts to come into play, and on the fence audiences must decide whether or not a film is worth their time and money.
But, the near future still looks promising for Batman vs Superman, which has the skies to itself for the next week until Disney’s The Jungle Book opens on 15 April. It’s still doing major business internationally too, with $85.1m in earnings this weekend, bringing its global total to $687.9m.
The weekend overall is down significantly from last year, which saw the massive opening of Furious 7. (theguardian.com)

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