Batman v Superman: Dawn of a Troubled Franchise
By John Hamann
March 27, 2016
Man of Steel 2 got the greenlight prior to the theatrical release of Man of Steel, with director Zach Snyder and writer David Goyer attached, and that of course became Batman v Superman. It likely seemed like a good idea over opening weekend, but after Man of Steel finished with $291 million domestic, and an opening-to-total multiplier just short of 2.5, I have to wonder what people were thinking. The worldwide box office was $668 million, and the film carried a budget of $225 million. Long-time readers of this column will know that a film with that budget needs to gross $675 million (three times its budget) to find theatrical profit. The worldwide gross for Dawn of Justice stands at $424.1 million, against a budget of $250 million. Reports have indicated that Batman v Superman will need a billion worldwide to find a profit, a number this one won't reach, and if of the same quality, the next one isn't going to come close to.
Finishing second, about $150 million back of the leader, is the now four-weekend-old Zootopia. After a Friday at $9.5 million that was down less than 1 percent versus last Friday, Zootopia unfortunately ran into Easter, which slowed it down somewhat. The weekend take came in at $23.1 million, still in the top 15 best fourth weekends ever, as it fell 37% compared to the previous frame - and that's all from Sunday. Zootopia has lifted its domestic gross now to $240.5 million, and overseas numbers are sitting at $456 million. Zootopia should reach $300 million at the domestic box office.
Third spot goes to the big (and successful) counter-programming entry this weekend, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. The original remains the biggest film ever to never hit number one over any weekend of its run ($241 .4 million domestic, 29 weekends in the top 12). The original's biggest weekend was a second place $11 million frame (its 20th weekend), so a big opening weekend likely wasn't in the cards. Tracking at one point was only looking for $10 million, so the producers and Universal will be quite happy with an opening frame at $18.1 million from 3,133 venues (the original played on more than 2,000 screens for only two weekends of its 52 weekend run). I don't think lightning is going to strike twice with the legs here, given the 25% fresh rating and A- Cinemascore. It was made for $18 million versus the original's budget of $5 million, so producing partners (and couple) Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson should make out fine.
Tied for Fourth is Miracles from Heaven, the faith-based film with Jennifer Garner. Thanks to the Easter holiday, the TriStar production was able to catch up to the much bigger budgeted Allegiant, which simply couldn't retain audience at all. The Friday to Friday drop for Miracles was only 20%, setting up a decent weekend. Miracles earned another $9.5 million over the weekend, dropping only 36%. The $13 million release has now earned $34.1 million.
Our other fourth place finisher is Allegiant, as the wheels come further off this wreck as it finishes its second weekend. From Friday-to-Friday, Allegiant was off a laughable 69.4%, and the news remained bad over the rest of the weekend as it earned $9.5 million for the weekend, dropping 67%. The $110 million threequel has earned $46.6 million, and every weekend will remind Lionsgate of the looming disaster that will be the fourth film. Coming soon from Lionsgate! Failure!