While superhero movies are generally saved for the lucrative summer months, two unique adaptations hit theaters much earlier this year, proving that fans will still come out in droves during any time of the year to see their favorite characters make the leap from comic books to the big screen. 20th Century Fox’s Deadpool shattered expectations and records alike when it hit theaters in February, with Warner Bros.’ Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice setting a few records of its own when it debuted in March. Despite a valiant effort, though, it seems Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will fall short of eclipsing Deadpool at the domestic box office.
While we don’t know for sure, this week may be Deadpool’s last in theaters, with Marvel getting ready to unleash Captain America: Civil War in more than 4,000 theaters this Friday. The Merc With the Mouth added $432,888 this past weekend, bringing its domestic total to $361.8 million after an impressive 12-week run in theaters. This includes the superhero adventure’s record breaking opening weekend of $132.4 million, the highest ever for an R-rated movie, and the biggest debut ever for both the X-Men franchise and 20th Century Fox as a whole. While Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had a bigger debut with just over $166 million, it has fallen off sharply since then, with a domestic tally of $325.1 million. While BvS will still be in theaters for many more weeks, it will most certainly drop out of the top 10 this week, and it won’t be able to catch up with Deadpool, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
There is some good news for Batman v Superman, however, since the movie has earned much more at the global box office than Deadpool. BvS has pulled in $537 million internationally, for a global total of $862.8 million, besting Deadpool’s worldwide tally of $761.1 million. This report claims that the movie’s global total will likely end up at somewhere around $875 million, which will make it the seventh highest grossing superhero movie at the worldwide box office. It currently sits at 11th place among superhero movies domestically, and it’s possible that it still could pass Guardians of the Galaxy ($333.1 million) and Spider-Man 3 ($336.5 million), but there won’t be enough in the tank to catch Deadpool in the eighth spot.
Dawn of Justice made headlines during its second weekend in theaters, dropping a staggering 69.1% to take in $51.1 million, even though it still retained its top spot at the box office. It also posted a decline of 54.5% in its third weekend with $23.3 million, losing to the Universal comedy The Boss, and fourth-weekend drop of 61.4% for $9.02 million and fourth place in theaters. Warner Bros. still trumpeted the movie as a major hit, despite a poor critical reception (27% on Rotten Tomatoes) and a middling B CinemaScore, when most Superhero movies receive an A. Still, box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian from comScore reveals that the worldwide gross is more than enough to qualify Batman v Superman as a hit.
“In what world is $862 million not a hit? Despite tepid reviews and mixed audience response, the power of the brand and the novelty of the two iconic super heroes going ‘mano a mano’ has delivered an unqualified global success. From a box office perspective this is a blockbuster hit no matter you slice it. Now if you want to talk about the emotional enmity and critical lack of enthusiasm for the film, that’s a separate and distinctive argument. However that’s not relevant to box office-centric perspective that says this movie is a hit.”
When you compare Batman v Superman to the MCU, its $325.1 million tally would be good for fifth best among their 12 movies, below Guardians of the Galaxy ($331.1 million), Iron Man 3 ($409 million), Avengers: Age of Ultron ($459 million}) and The Avengers ($623.3 million). Analyst Jeff Bock stated that BvS does successfully launch the DC movie universe, but the studio still has a long way to go in terms of equaling Marvel’s critical and commercial success. Here’s what he had to say below.
“Still, outside of Christopher Nolan’s two Dark Knight movies, and Tim Burton’s Batman films when you adjust for inflation, this is the highest-grossing property in DC’s bullpen thus far. It tops Man of Steel by more than $200 million. So yes, BvS successfully relaunched DC’s cinematic universe, but they are nowhere near Disney/Marvel in terms of critical reception and box office prowess. One can only hope that bigger and better is still on the way.”
Many of the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice stars will return for Justice League Part 1, which is currently filming in the U.K. under the direction of Zack Snyder. DC fans also have Suicide Squad to look forward to this summer on August 5, with the stand alone Wonder Woman movie arriving on June 2, 2017, before Justice League Part 1 hits theaters on November 17, 2017.