While we normally have to wait for summer before movies put up truly huge box office numbers, fans have been coming out in droves for Deadpool and Zootopia over the past two months. That trend will continue this weekend with Warner Bros.' highly-anticipated Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which has been tracking quite well over the past few weeks. With just three days left until it hits theaters, the analysts at Pro.BoxOffice.com are projecting that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will easily take the top spot with a whopping $159 million. If it does manage to hit this projection, it will be the highest-grossing movie to ever debut in March, breaking The Hunger Games' record of $152.5 million set in 2012.
We reported last week that advanced ticket sales for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice are out-pacing Deadpool, which took in a record-breaking $132.4 million over its opening weekend, the highest debut ever for an R-rated movie. The movie has gone on to earn $340.9 million domestically and $390 million internationally for a worldwide haul of $731 million, with many wondering if it can surpass the $1 billion worldwide plateau. While Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is expected to surpass the Merc With the Mouth's debut, it won't eclipse it by too much, especially considering Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is rated PG-13.
While the movie doesn't have a Rotten Tomatoes score yet, since the official reviews haven't come in, the early fan reactions from the New York premiere on Sunday have been exceedingly positive. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is expected to open in more than 4,100 theaters, which is a huge release but comes nowhere close to the widest release of all time. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse has held that record for nearly six years, opening in 4,468 theaters in the summer of 2010.
Following his titanic struggle against General Zod, Metropolis has been razed to the ground and Superman is the most controversial figure in the world. While for many he is still an emblem of hope, a growing number of people consider him a threat to humanity, seeking justice for the chaos he has brought to Earth. As far as Bruce Wayne is concerned, Superman is clearly a danger to society. He fears for the future of the world with such a reckless power left ungoverned, and so he dons his mask and cape to right Superman's wrongs. The rivalry between them is furious, fueled by bitterness and vengeance, and nothing can dissuade them from waging this war. However, a dark new threat arises in the form of a third man: one who has a power greater than either of them to endanger the world and cause total destruction.
From director Zack Snyder comes Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, starring Oscar winner Ben Affleck (Argo) as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent in the characters' first big-screen pairing. The film also stars Oscar nominees Amy Adams (American Hustle) as Lois Lane, Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) as Lex Luthor, Diane Lane (Unfaithful) as Martha Kent, and Laurence Fishburne (What's Love Got to Do with It) as Perry White; Oscar winners Jeremy Irons (Reversal of Fortune) as Alfred, and Holly Hunter (The Piano) as Senator Finch; and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince. Zack Snyder directed from a screenplay written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer, based on characters from DC Comics, including Batman, created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger, and Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The film is produced by Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder, with Wesley Coller, Geoff Johns and David S. Goyer serving as executive producers.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's only competition in wide release this weekend is Universal's My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, which is expected to open in third place with $17.5 million, behind Zootopia with $20 million. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is expected to open in more than 3,000 theaters, although it hasn't fared too well with the nation's critics, earning just a 25% score on Rotten Tomatoes. It's predecessor, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, became the surprise indie hit of 2002, earning $241.3 million domestically and $368.7 million worldwide, from just a $5 million budget. The movie still ranks as the top-grossing romantic comedy of all time, and holds the unique record of having the highest box office take without ever hitting #1, even though it was in theaters for a full 52-week year. The top 5 will be rounded out by The Divergent Series: Allegiant ($14.5 million) and Miracles from Heaven ($9.1 million).
The top 10 will be rounded out by 10 Cloverfield Lane ($8.2 million), Deadpool ($6.1 million), London Has Fallen ($3.9 million), Whiskey Tango Foxtrot ($1.7 million) and The Perfect Match ($1 million). Also opening in limited release are Sony Pictures' Classics' I Saw the Light, IFC's Born to Be Blue, Alchemy's Mia Madre, Reliance Big Pictures' Rocky Handsome, Amplify's They're Watching and Strand's Valley of Love. It isn't known if there are any plans for nationwide expansion for any of these movies quite yet, but we'll keep you posted.
Looking ahead to next weekend, Open Road Films' Collide and PureFlix's God's Not Dead 2 will hit theaters in wide release. Opening in limited release is Paramount's Everybody Wants Some, the latest from director Richard Linklater, Broad Green Pictures' The Dark Horse, Sony Pictures Classics' Miles Ahead, Lionsgate's Natural Born Pranksters and Distrib Films' Next Time I'll Aim for the Heart. Take a look at the projected top 10 for the weekend of March 25, and check back on Sunday for the box office estimates.
PREDICTED WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:
|1||Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice|
|3||My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2|
|4||The Divergent Series: Allegiant|
|5||Miracles from Heaven|
|6||10 Cloverfield Lane|
|8||London Has Fallen|
|9||Whiskey Tango Foxtrot|
|10||The Perfect Match|