So sayeth Bloomberg:
“Batman v Superman,” one of the most expensive films ever made, is on pace to produce a $278 million profit for Warner Bros. once home video, TV and merchandise proceeds are tallied, according to SNL Kagan analyst Wade Holden. That’s less than the estimated $300 million the studio earned from “Man Of Steel.” It’s also evidence that Warner Bros. has more work to do to make its DC Comics division the unbreakable superhero movie business it needs.
That’s also less of a domestic haul than the R-rated Deadpool.
Heading into its third weekend, BvS limped into second place just behind the Melissa McCarthy comedy The Boss, suggesting that the movie just isn’t the big, Dark Knight-style blockbuster the studio was hoping for after a disappointing year that saw the release of expensive non-franchise-starters like Jupiter Ascending and Peter Pan. The article, published on Friday, predicted as much:
A much bigger third weekend is unlikely for a film that received just 29 percent favorable reviews on Rottentomatoes.com, which aggregates critics’ comments into a single number. In contrast, 83 percent liked 20th Century Fox’s recent superhero hit “Deadpool.” The drop may also suggest “Batman v Superman” hasn’t resonated with a wider audience.
Moreover, the numbers suggest that the audience just isn’t all that interested in the DCEU. As this Reddit discussion explains, BvS has an extremely low “multiplier” score (a film’s box office earnings divided by its opening weekend box office), somewhere between 1.95 and 2.05. Higher multipliers suggest repeated viewings and a wider fanbase, like Guardians of the Galaxy (3.53) or Batman Begins (4.24). But BvS’s score is lower than that of Green Lantern or the 2015 Fantastic Four. It suggests a fatally low level of enthusiasm on the part of the audience.
It’ll be interesting to see what the fallout is from this, especially with Civil War on the horizon. I imagine we’ll be seeing a lot of “superhero fatigue” think-pieces by the end of the summer from the usual sources. I also suspect Warners will yank one or more of the less promising DC movies from the schedule and go full-on Batfleck. But I suspect they still see Snyder as the Golden Goose of Grimdark and that he’ll still make JLA — just maybe without so much murder. Failing that, I guess he could always jump ship to the competition. I bet he’s got a bunch of great ideas for a certain wall-crawling webslinger.