Weekend Forecast: 'Batman v Superman', 'Zootopia' & 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2'

Featured Stories - on March 23, 2016 by Daniel Garris

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Daniel Garris, Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this report.

Warner's DC Extended Universe launches into full gear this weekend with the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Online buzz for the second installment of the DC Extended Universe has simply exploded this week. At the same time, a growing percentage of the film's buzz has been negative in tone as a result of the mostly negative critical reviews that started appearing for the film on Tuesday. While BoxOffice feels that the film's critical reviews will have an effect after opening weekend, we don't feel they will have a sizable negative impact on opening weekend, as a large number of moviegoers will still want to experience the event of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman appearing together in the same film.

Universal's My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 also enters the marketplace this weekend. On a much smaller scale, the long-awaited comedy sequel has seen its online buzz build as it nears release as well. However, much like Batman v Superman, early critical reviews for the film have been soft (even more so for My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2). BoxOffice expects My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 to open in third place this weekend, behind Disney's Zootopia. Even with the additions of Batman v Superman and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 in the marketplace this weekend, Zootopia looks set to have another strong hold thanks in part to continued strong word of mouth.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice:

PROS:

- Having Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman in the same film is obviously a huge draw, especially the first time around.

- In the weeks leading up to its release, Twitter activity levels for Batman v Superman weren't as strong as they were for either Avengers: Age of Ultron or Deadpool. But Batman v Superman has seen a massive late surge on Twitter as it nears its release, so much so that it is now running well ahead of both Avengers: Age of Ultron and Deadpool when it comes to week-of-release tweets.

- Batman v Superman has registered exceptional online pre-sales at both Fandango and MovieTickets. The film is Fandango's largest advance seller ever for a superhero film.

- 2013's Man of Steel opened with $116.6 million (when not including its Thursday Walmart previews) and went on to gross $291.0 million domestically. Batman v Superman should be able to pick up significantly from that performance, especially when it comes to opening weekend.

- The Easter holiday weekend has become a more lucrative frame for movie-going in recent years. Last Easter Furious 7 set a new Easter weekend record with a massive $147.2 million launch. Batman v Superman looks like it should be able to top that figure.

CONS:

- Early critical reviews for Batman v Superman are skewing negative, as the film currently has a Tomatometer of just 37 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. While the film should be largely critic-proof this weekend, the film's reviews could limit the degree of the film's break-out potential a bit this weekend and could really come into play after opening weekend.

- While Man of Steel performed well at the box office, critical reaction to the film was mixed and word of mouth among moviegoers was fairly average. The lukewarm reaction to Man of Steel could come even more into play given the negative critical reviews for Batman v Superman.

- While Easter is a more lucrative movie-going frame than it used to be, the holiday could still limit the opening weekend potential of Batman v Superman somewhat, especially in comparison to the early May releases of the Avengers and Iron Man films. With Zootopia, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, Allegiant and Miracles from Heaven all in the marketplace, this weekend will also be more crowded than an early weekend in May typically would be.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2:

PROS:

- My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 has performed relatively well on Twitter in the weeks leading up to its release. This week the film is generating more week-of-release tweets than The Intern did leading up to its release last year.

- 2002's My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 was one of the biggest surprise hits of all-time, as exceptional word of mouth eventually carried the film to a domestic gross of $241.4 million (without adjusting for ticket price inflation). Even after 14 years, there should still be a portion of the original film's audience that wants to catch the sequel.

- My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 seems like a smart counter-programming choice to Batman v Superman. Back in 2008, Mamma Mia! opened with $27.8 million when opening the same weekend as The Dark Knight.

CONS:

- My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 currently has a Tomatometer of just 21 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The film's early negative reviews are likely to limit the film's potential at least a bit this weekend.

- Waiting 14 years for a sequel is a very long time, especially when the audience of the original film skewed towards older moviegoers to begin with.

- There was certainly a catching lightning in a bottle aspect to My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It would be tough for a sequel to come anywhere close to duplicating that, even without a 14 year wait and negative reviews.

Top 10 Forecast

BoxOffice projects this weekend's top ten films will total a huge $252.6 million. Without taking into account ticket price inflation, that would represent the fifth largest top ten total ever for a single weekend. It would also represent an 80.6 percent increase over the $139.9 million top ten total of the same weekend last year. That weekend was led by the stronger than expected $52.1 million debut of Fox's Home and also saw the very solid $33.8 million start of Warner's Get Hard and the $3.8 million expansion of RADiUS-TWC's It Follows.

Check out our complete forecast in the table below.

Title Release Date Distributor Weekend Domestic Total Through Sunday, Mar 27
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Mar 25, 2016 Warner Bros. $172,000,000 $172,000,000
Zootopia Mar 4, 2016 Disney $24,500,000 $242,000,000
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 Mar 25, 2016 Universal $18,500,000 $18,500,000
The Divergent Series: Allegiant Mar 18, 2016 Lionsgate / Summit $10,800,000 $48,300,000
Miracles from Heaven Mar 16, 2016 Sony / TriStar $10,300,000 $35,300,000
10 Cloverfield Lane Mar 11, 2016 Paramount $5,800,000 $55,800,000
Deadpool Feb 12, 2016 Fox $4,500,000 $348,800,000
London Has Fallen Mar 4, 2016 Focus / Gramercy $3,300,000 $56,000,000
Hello, My Name Is Doris Mar 11, 2016 Roadside Attractions $1,500,000 $3,100,000
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Mar 4, 2016 Paramount $1,400,000 $21,800,000

Tags: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Zootopia, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, predictions

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