Heading into this weekend, everyone was confident that The Batman was going to put up huge numbers. Would its three-hour running time be a factor in limiting showtimes? Hardly, when the marketplace has room for a single film in multiple houses. However, as the numbers began to come in this weekend, it appeared as if analysts were starting to sell Matt Reeves’ film short, as if to create the appearance of an overperformance. Don’t be fooled. The Batman did just fine. In fact, it did great.
(Photo by Jonathan Olley/©Warner Bros.)
Let’s look more closely at those Batman numbers. Sorry, THE Batman. Thursday night previews made $17.9 million, the second-highest during the pandemic behind Spider-Man: No Way Home’s massive $50 million. Add in another $3.7 million in Tues & Weds fan previews, and it all amounted to a $57 million haul by the end of Friday night. This led to headlines that The Batman was headed for a $110 million weekend, maybe $120 million by some reports. Both lowballs, unless the assumption was that word-of-mouth was going to somehow diminish its earnings on Saturday and Sunday, even if there was nothing to indicate that. Only one film with more than $50 million through opening Friday finished the weekend with less than $120 million (Spider-Man: Homecoming with $117 million.) That was the floor that The Batman should have been given the benefit of the doubt on.
Follow the money, as they say, and best guesstimates (even before this weekend) would have put The Batman over $120 million through Sunday. Lo and behold the estimate is at $128.5 million, making it the 62nd film to open to over $100 million and just the second in the past two years. (It is over $248 million worldwide.) Now we’ll see if we have reached a point in the pandemic when numbers of this magnitude continue with the remarkable consistency that they have in the past. The low total for a $100 million opener is Joker’s $335 million. (After last year’s streaming experiment with HBO Max, The Batman is WB’s highest-grossing film since Todd Phillips’ Oscar-winner.) The final gross of films opening between $120-130 million have ranged from The Passion of the Christ’s $370 million to Frozen’s $400 million. The Batman isn’t facing any competition for the next two weeks, and it will take The Lost City to potentially dethrone it in weekend four. If not, then Morbius will do the honors in week five. But as stated last week, expect to see The Batman mentioned in this column up until at least just before Memorial Day weekend.
(Photo by Clay Enos/©Sony Pictures)
After two weeks atop the box office, Sony’s Uncharted fell back to second place, and by the looks of things, it won’t be dropping much further anytime soon. Even with The Batman in play, the film dropped to a still robust $11 million in its third weekend, bringing its total to over $100 million. The Batman was able to take the crown as the first movie this year to reach nine digits on Saturday, but big deal. Uncharted is just the 11th film from March 2020 on to hit that first big milestone in 17 days or less. The film is now right on pace with Ghostbusters: Afterlife and could be headed to over $130 million. (It is over $271 million worldwide right now.) This is another good sign that we are inching towards a degree of normality when it comes to moviegoing again. Maybe not as much as the numbers for Dog but every dollar counts.
Speaking of which, UA Releasing’s Dog with Channing Tatum (in front of and behind the camera) lapped up another $6 million this weekend for just a 36% drop from last week. Only three original films have made as much as $40 million in their first 17 days – Free Guy, Encanto, and now, Dog. It is a couple million ahead of where Old and House of Gucci were at this point (and both of those grossed $4.1 million in their third weekend). $55 million is now definitely in the cards, with an outside shot it gets up over $60 million. This is a great story that could also spiral into some further success for Tatum when The Lost City with Sandra Bullock opens at the end of the month. UA’s other current release, Cyrano, stuck around in the top ten this week with $683,000 bringing its total to $2.6 million.
Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile is now mounting a run at $40 million for its final total. Another $2.7 million this weekend brought it up to over $37 million. A 54% drop for Jackass Forever after losing over 900 theaters is going to stall its chances to make it to $60 million, but will get over $55 million this week. Scream ’22 lost nearly half its theaters this week, but with another $570,000 it managed to fall over the $80 million line. Sing 2 is still playing in over 2,000 theaters and managed another $1.5 million and will finish its run between $155-160 million. Spider-Man: No Way Home still sees no end in sight. It still took in $4.4 million despite falling below 3,000 theaters for the first time, and Sony will likely not give up on it until it reaches $800 million, which is still in the cards.
(Photo by ©Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures)
Pixar’s Turning Red will be skipping theaters next weekend (including in Russia) and instead be headed straight to Disney+ where it will be available to subscribers. Disney will return to theaters for the first time this year to kick off the summer with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. This should allow just about every film in the top 10 this week to stay put with even more minimal drops. How far will The Batman fall? We shall see, but by next weekend it will become just the fourth film in the last two years to reach $200 million, and after 10 days it may be the second highest-grossing domestic film during that period.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]