‘Batman v Superman’ Dominates Box Office Despite Negative Reviews
Even after 70+ years, the combined powers of the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight were strong enough to take down their greatest foe: movie critics.
Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice steamrolled over its competition en route to a record-breaking $166.1 million dollar weekend haul despite a highly publicized and largely negative critical response.
The film, which stars Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent, Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, and Amy Adams as Lois Lane, is meant to launch an interconnected series of films starring DC’s comic book properties, similar to Disney’s massively successful Marvel Cinematic Universe of Iron Man, Captain America, and the other Avengers.
Dawn of Justice seemed to hit a snag last week however, as it took a critical drubbing from many outlets, with film aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes finding that only 29% of reviews for the film were positive, leading some to wonder if the film would bomb.
However, the film’s negative reviews did little to damage its initial appeal.
Dawn of Justice‘s domestic box office made it the largest March opening and seventh largest overall opening of all time. The film added nearly $254 million in foreign ticket sales during the same period thanks to large release platform that saw the film roll out on 40,000+ screens in 67 countries, including China.
Warner executive Jeff Goldstein expressed the company’s happiness with the film’s results, saying, “We’re absolutely jubilant about the way the fans embraced the film. To be this successful as we launch the DC Comics universe is really a triumph.”
Regarding the film’s critical reaction, he added, “While I respect the reviewers, the enormous turnout speaks for itself.”
While the film seemingly overcame the critics in its debut weekend, it is still possible that negative word of mouth might derail the franchise’s future, a dicey proposition for Warner since the film needs to make approximately $800 million to break even. It also remains to be seen what, if any, affect the critical consensus will have on later scheduled DC films like 2017’s Justice League and Wonder Woman.