Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice isn't being considered a straight up bomb by anyone. But that doesn't mean Warner Bros. and DC aren't disappointed in the movie's lackluster box office, which, despite a stellar opening, faced massive drop-offs in its second and third weekends of release. Now comes word that Warner Bros. is planning a big screen release for the R-rated cut in a means to squeeze a little more money out of it's theatrical run.
The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice R-rated cut was announced for home release in the months leading up to the superhero epic's big screen debut. At the time, it was not believed that this 3 hour version of the movie would be playing at the local multiplex. Called The Ultimate Edition, director Zack Snyder has meticulously recut the film, adding in an additional 30 minutes of footage that was deleted from the original version. The movie is said to push the violence up to 11.
Herocic Insider was the first to drop the rumor that the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 'Ultimate Cut' would get a theatrical release. And the move is said to be coming out of Warner Bros.' desperate bid to get just a little more mileage out of a movie that is positioned to set up their entire DCEU slate through 2020. The movie was no slouch during its opening weekend back in March. It pulled in a decent $166 million domestically.
Related: Zack Snyder's Original DCEU Plans
The problems started when the movie moved into its second weekend of release. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice experienced an amazing 81% drop from Friday-to-Friday and a total drop of 68% for the entire second weekend, the worst ever for a superhero movie. In its third weekend, this follow-up to 2013's Man of Steel dipped another 60%. It is believed that when all avenues of revenue are accounted for, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will turn a profit for Warner Bros. But it won't be a very big one. And it's definitely not the smash success the studio was hoping for. Here's what Zack Snyder says we can expect from this R-Rated cut of the movie.
"[The DVD version] is a half-hour longer, and some of that additional material is some of the stuff we took out for the rating. I was like, 'Cool, I can put it back in for the director's cut.' There was nothing by design. This was the material I just put back in, and then when [the MPAA] looked at it again, they were like, 'Oh, now the movie's rated R.' And, by the way, it's not a hard R. There's no nudity. There's a little bit of violence. It just tips the scale. There's a couple [cameos], like, Ahman Green, the running back from the Green Bay Packers, he's in it. And C.T. Fletcher is like this bodybuilder muscle-guru from Compton, this awesome guy. He's amazing, and he's in it. And then there's just a lot of these Easter Eggs in the Director's Cut that I think are gonna be fun for everyone. There's one giant one that I won't tell you about yet that speaks to what's gonna go on in the greater Justice League universe. We call it the Ultimate Cut because to me it's a deeper dive into that world and there are story lines in there that get fleshed out by the longer version...I would say that we didn't really take out much of the Superman/Batman story because I felt like, you know that's kind of the movie, but there was some sort of interstitial stuff that surrounds the story, that kind of finishes some of the ideas that we trimmed back, and I think that's what you get. There's a little bit of action, there's a little bit of violence that we trimmed out for the MPAA that we put back. The Batman warehouse rescue, there's a couple shots of Doomsday that were too intense. Then there's a little bit longer ending, sort of the ending sequence, and the opening of the movie, the North Africa sequence is really much different."
That obviously sounds like a lot of stuff is making its way back in. And 30 minutes is actually a lot of footage. Is it enough to get you back in the theater, though? Or will you await the arrival of the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Cut on Blu-ray and DVD? Sound off in the comments below. We'll let you know as soon as the Rated cut is officially announced for a cinematic release.