Will Batman V Superman Open Stronger Than Deadpool?


Here’s a box office battle you wouldn’t have expected prior to 2016: the World’s Finest vs. the Merc With a Mouth. If you would have asked most movie industry analysts even a few months ago, they would have told you that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice would have a much stronger opening weekend than Deadpool. In terms of name recognition among the masses, it was no contest, plus Deadpool’s ‘R’ rating seemed like a big risk, and it was opening in February, a traditionally slow month for theaters.

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All that conventional wisdom has been set on its head. Deadpool blew away expectations and box office records alike by racking up $132.4 million in its first three days. Will Batman v Superman be able to top that total?

Warner Bros. is playing it cool, kind of like Disney did before Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened, expecting a $110 million opening. But The Hollywood Reporter says that forecasts are calling for Batman v Superman to clear $140 million, if not fly a bit higher than that. If it does, it could challenge the March opening weekend record, $152.5 million, set by The Hunger Games in 2012.

THR suggests that the running time could be a small impediment, since theaters can’t squeeze in quite as many showings of the 151-minute Batman v Superman as they did for the 108-minute Deadpool. Yet common sense suggests that BvS will get a boost from fans wanting to see it in the more expensive IMAX 3D and other premium formats, which could help counter that impact.

Finally, THR’s piece mentions the fact that Batman v Superman should be able to make it into the top 10 superhero movie opening weekends of all time, something we also track here at Bam Smack Pow. It would need just under $115 million to knock the first Spider-Man film out of the top 10, and it would rank as a major surprise if it didn’t do at least that well.

Next: 15 Box Office Records Batman v Superman Could Break

The fun thing about this particular year in superhero movies is that even if BvS does fly past Deadpool, there’s another strong contender coming about six weeks later in Captain America: Civil War. There’s enough money and fan interest to go around for all of them, but it’s going to be interesting to see who claims the top spot.