The Boss vs Dawn of Justice, or Bad vs Bad
By John Hamann
April 10, 2016
That means Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is second, as the news just grows worse. At one point, the damage from the critical revolt was happening within the film and the franchise. Then, with last weekend’s 69% plunge and audience rejection of the movie, the entire DC Comics Universe became damaged. This weekend, the bad news is here again, and now the damage is beyond the films, banging around within Warner Bros. itself. The studio has this fading mega-project on top of the problems caused by recent releases like Pan, Jupiter Ascending, Point Break and In the Heart of the Sea. These have to be tough times for this once great studio.
Batman v Superman dropped another 54% this weekend, earning only $23.4 million, another nail in the coffin for an expected juggernaut. Normally, films that drop hard in weekend two even out the following weekend, like The Dark Knight Rises, which fell 61%, and then 43%. The first Hunger Games fell 62%, and then evened out in weekend three with a 43% drop. What Batman v Superman did this weekend is akin to a Twilight film, with Breaking Dawn Part 2 falling 69% and then 60%. What might be the scariest thing is that the dreaded debacle that was Fantastic Four dropped a similar 68% in weekend two, and followed that with a drop of 54%. I think there have to very few people on the planet who predicted an expectedly iconic film like Batman vs Superman to follow the box office behavior of the Twilight movies and Fantastic Four.
The domestic total for the $250 million film failed to reach $300 million after its third weekend, which means the seventh biggest opener of all time won’t be one of the 14 fastest films to reach $300 million. With the weekend result, I am thinking Tuesday or Wednesday – its 19th or 20th day – will be when it hits $300 million. At 20 days, it would tie with Furious 7 as the 19th fastest to reach the triple century mark. Currently, Dawn of Justice has a domestic total at $296.7 million, and has picked up another $487 million overseas.
Production on Justice League begins on Monday, and if I ran Warner Bros., I would delay production by a month or two, fire Zack Snyder (and for that matter Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara), revamp the script, and reset. Instead of being like Lionsgate and just pushing forward with the next Divergent sequel despite certain disaster, Warner Bros. and DC should do a temperature check and figure out where they are going following what has become a wild stumble – immediate financial impact or not.
Third is Zootopia, which earned $14.3 million and fell just 26%. Now in its sixth weekend, Zootopia had seen an average drop of 28.5%, right in line with this weekend's decline, and has a current domestic total of $296 million because of it. Since The Jungle Book on deck next weekend with its perfect reviews so far, Zootopia is going to get buried a bit, but it will still finish with at least $340 million domestically to go with its overseas total of $557 million.