YOUR COMPLETE WEEKEND BOX OFFICE TRACKING, PREDICTIONS, & ANALYSIS (3.24.16)

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the box office-2

 

box office prediction collage

Batman v Superman

$152 million

Zootopia

$.2 million

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

$16 million

Allegiant

$13.1 million

Miracles from Heaven

$10.4 million

When Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens big, and it will, it’ll be giving R-Rated Deadpool a run for its money, besting the Merc with the Mouth’s $132.4 million Valentines opening, and ushering its whole cast to the land of giant openings seemingly reserved for Marvel superheroes. But will BvS set a new March record? The Hunger Games currently holds the title at $152.5 million, and second place is far, far behind—2010’s Alice in Wonderland at $116 million—so even if BvS can’t best Katniss, it can certainly claim second. Hunger Games takes the top spot for best spring opening as well, followed closely by last year’s Furious 7 at $147.2 million. Some analysts are eyeing BvS for a $180+ million opening, but we’re going to be a little more conservative, clocking it in just behind Hunger Games. A number of people being out of work and school for Good Friday will help boost the early numbers, but, like most fan-fueled genre films, BvS will be front-loaded. Reviews are mixed (at best), and has been skewing heavily toward the male end of the spectrum. Though the new ad campaigns focusing on Wonder Women are helping to balance that out, both Hunger Games and Furious 7 had a much stronger draw for women at the box office.

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There’s no doubt that everyone is talking about BvS. The real question is—what are they saying? Reviews range from over-the-top positive to hilariously negative, and everyone seems to agree on only one thing: Ben Affleck makes a good Batman. Ironic, given the internet outcry when he was cast, but unsurprising. And regardless of what the critics are saying, they don’t necessarily speak for the audience. Initial fan reviews after Sunday’s premiere were beyond favorable. Great, even. Fans took to Twitter and raved about how much they loved the latest Batman, about how the 2.5 hour epic was everything they’d hoped it’d be. So who’s right, the fans or the critics? But more importantly, does it matter?

Time and again we see poorly reviewed movies that not even die-hards seem to like make bank at the box office. Take 2014’s Transformers: Age of Extinction. The fourth in a series of increasingly subpar Transformers movies ranks an 18% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 51% with audiences. But the bottom line? Age of Extinction opened at $100 million domestic and went on to bag $1.1 billion worldwide. Or how about 2011’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides? A slightly better 32% score from critics, and a comparable 54% from audiences. The fourth, and undeniably worst, Pirates movie opened at $90 million domestic and earned $1 billion worldwide. Even just looking at the domestic take, Stranger Tides made $1 million, while Extinction made over $5 million. The thing about poor reviews is they can really only change the minds of people who were on the fence. And if it’s actually a “bad” movie, it will only hurt the longterm box office as word of mouth spreads and there’s a lack of repeat viewings—not first timers and certainly not opening weekend.

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Of course Batman v Superman will do well at the box office. There’s no question about that. It’s already pulled in $7 million internationally, and—thanks to Wonder Woman AKA Gal Gadot—the film’s social media and advertising game is unbelievably on point. It’s much bigger than Deadpool was last month and, arguably most importantly, it has a much, much wider audience. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who’s not, on some level, a Batman fan. There’s a reason the advertising shifted to focusing on Batman as opposed to Superman—people just care about the Caped Crusader more. The last time we got a Batman flick it was 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, opening at $160.9 million. But that was the last in a trilogy, the end of an era, and this new one is effectively a reboot. And the Dark Knight films were given to us by Christopher Nolan, a respected director who’s gone on to make several other well-reviewed, high-grossing films. BvS is directed by Zack Snyder. Love him or hate him, you’ll be in the minority if it’s the former.

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Snyder’s films tend to live in a rare place of audience enjoyment at the cost of critical disdain. For instance, the last Superman movie—Snyder’s Man of Steel, the first in this expanded DC Universe—sits at a 56% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, but a 76% with users. Man of Steel opened at $116.6 million in 2013, over double the opening of 2006’s Superman Returns, but still a far cry from the low-end projection of a BvS $140 million opening. $116.6 million is also the biggest opening Snyder has ever seen, and same goes for Superman himself, Henry Cavill, and costars Amy Adams and Laurence Fishburne. And how about Ben Affleck? Pearl Harbor with $59 million, back in 2001. And Jesse Eisenberg’s highest opening was $50.7 million with 2004’s The Village. In fact, of the main cast, only Gal Gadot has any sort of experience with non-DC huge openings thanks to Fast Five ($86.2 million) and Fast & Furious 6 ($97.4 million).

Opening Weekend Current Gross Facebook Likes Tweets
Batman v Superman N/A N/A 3,895,397 1,051,225
Zootopia $75.063 million $212.920 million 521,578 192,591
Greek Wedding N/A N/A 881,396 11,656
Allegiant $29.027 million $35.206 million 6,022,170 106,978
Miracles from Heaven $14.812 million $23.027 million 358,280 15,675

Zootopia is only a weekend away from surpassing fellow Disney Studios’ stunner Big Hero 6 at the domestic box office, currently lagging by less than $10 million. The well-loved animated pic will see a larger decline this weekend thanks to BvS, falling around 35% to take 2nd place with $.2 million in its fourth weekend. In 3rd will be newcomer My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. The original opened small in 2002, at $3 million, but proved to be a sleeper hit when it when on to gross $1.4 million domestic, and $368.7 million worldwide. The sequel stands to rake in around $16 million, with a rabid fanbase that won’t be deterred by negative reviews. In only its second weekend, Allegiant will fall to 4th place with a nearly 55% drop. Plagued by negative word of mouth, the third in the Divergent series has grossed only $35.2 million domestically. Miracles from Heaven will see a nice second showing thanks to the Easter holiday, taking 5th place with a dip of only 30%. The faith-baed film has continued to earn steadily throughout this week, taking in an average of $1.6 million daily.

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In 6th, 10 Cloverfield Lane will take in between $6-7 million. The thriller has grossed nearly $49 million domestically, but still hasn’t hit many markets worldwide—where the original Cloverfield did most of its damage. Deadpool will follow in 7th, adding another $5.6 million to its already sizable $343.6 million. Last year’s Furious 7 total gross is in the Merc’s sights, less than $10 million ahead and well within reach as the next movie to beat. London Has Fallen will take 8th with around $4 million, bringing its domestic total shy of $60 million, which was also its budget. 9th place goes to Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, which will fall at least 40% and land around $1.5 million, the loss of over 1,200 screens hurting its chances of making much more. Rounding out the Top 10 is The Perfect Match, fending off The Brothers Grimsby and pulling in just over $1 million.

     
Rotten Tomatoes IMDb Metacritic
Critics Users # of Ratings Stars # of Ratings  
Batman v Superman 32 78 126,491 7.9 33,147 44
Zootopia 99 95 43,534 8.4 38,1 78
Greek Wedding 26 N/A 58 5.2 302 41
Allegiant 10 48 30,219 6.0 10,790 33
Miracles from Heaven 52 84 10,231 6.3 737 44

In limited, Indian action flick Rocky Handsome will see around 50 locations this weekend. The Hindi film is loosely based on The Man from Nowhere, Korea’s highest grossing film in 2010. Hank Williams biopic I Saw the Light opens in a handful of theaters this weekend. Starring Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen, the film has seen mostly negative reviews so far thanks to unfocused storytelling. Another musical biopic, Born to Be Blue opens as well, starring Ethan Hawke as jazz legend Chet Baker. Reviews for Blue have been largely positive. Get A Job, starring Miles Teller and Anna Kendrick, will see a limited release this weekend, as well as VOD. Though there haven’t been many reviews, the ones that are out there are overwhelming bad, leading to a current 0% Rotten Tomatoes score.

(Sources: boxoffice.com, rottentomatoes.com, imdb.com, metacritic.com. Starred figures are estimates. Tweets represent figures for this week only. Figures represent numbers at time of writing, and may have changed. Tracking Board does not report Rotten Tomatoes user ratings for movies that have not yet seen wide release.)

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