By Daniel Garris
Monday Update: With actuals now in, Warner's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opened with $166.01 million this weekend. The blockbuster superhero film starring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill was ultimately over-estimated by just over $4 million on Sunday. Batman v Superman registered the seventh largest opening weekend take of all-time (without adjusting for ticket price inflation). The film opened with $81.56 million on Friday, fell 38 percent on Saturday to take in $50.66 million and declined 33 percent on Sunday to gross $33.79 million.
Disney's Zootopia took second this weekend with $24.02 million, which represented a very solid 35 percent decline. Universal's My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 opened in third place with $17.86 million. That was towards the very high end of expectations.
Meanwhile, Sony's Miracles from Heaven ultimately edged out Lionsgate's The Divergent Series: Allegiant for fourth place. Miracles from Heaven was down 35 percent to take in $9.69 million, while Allegiant fell a very sharp 67.5 percent to gross $9.44 million.
Sunday Update: Warner's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was off to a very successful debut this weekend with an estimated $170.1 million. The blockbuster superhero film starring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill established new opening weekend records for the month of March (a record which was previously held by the $152.54 million launch of 2012's The Hunger Games) and for Easter weekend (a record that had just been set last year by the $147.19 million start of Furious 7). Batman v Superman also delivered the largest debut of 2016 thus far (topping the $132.43 million three-day start of Deadpool) and the sixth largest opening weekend performance of all-time (without taking into account ticket price inflation). While poor critical reviews likely prevented the film from breaking out even further, they clearly didn't prevent it from getting off to a strong start, as Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman appearing in the same film made Batman v Superman a critic-proof event for moviegoers this weekend.
Batman v Superman opened with $82.01 million on Good Friday (which included an estimated $27.7 million from Thursday night shows that began at 6 p.m.), fell 38 percent on Saturday to take in $50.92 million and is estimated to decline 27 percent on Easter Sunday to gross $37.17 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.07 to 1. In comparison, last year's Furious 7 had a ratio of 2.18 to 1 over Easter weekend. The audience breakdown for Batman v Superman skewed towards male moviegoers (62 percent) and towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (60 percent).
In addition to its mentioned poor critical reviews, initial word of mouth for Batman v Superman appears to be lackluster. The film received a modest B rating on CinemaScore and has a current Flixster audience score of 73 percent. While those aren't promising signs going forward, they do suggest that the film is going over better with moviegoers than it has with critics. Batman v Superman could also still be helped out in the near future by the relatively modest line-up of new wide releases entering the marketplace over the next two weeks.
Batman v Superman took in $17.96 million from IMAX locations this weekend. That represented 10.6 percent of the film's overall grosses this weekend. An estimated 40 percent of the film's grosses came from 3D screenings of some kind this weekend. RealD 3D showings accounted for $47 million on their own.
After leading the box office for each of the past three weekends, Disney's Zootopia took second place this weekend with an estimated $23.14 million. The blockbuster 3D computer animated film from Walt Disney Animation Studios continued to hold up well, as it was down a solid 38 percent. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Zootopia registered the 15th largest fourth weekend gross of all-time. Zootopia is quickly approaching the $250 million domestic mark, as it has grossed $240.55 million in 24 days. That places the film 15 percent ahead of the $209.14 million 24-day take of 2014's The LEGO Movie and 15 percent behind the $284.20 million 24-day gross of last year's Inside Out.
Universal's My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 was off to a very nice third place start with an estimated $18.12 million. The long-awaited comedy sequel starring and written by Nia Vardalos opened on the very high end of expectations and performed well with its modest production cost in mind. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 presented strong counter-programming this weekend for those not interested in Batman v Superman (similar to Mamma Mia!, also a Universal release, successfully opening against The Dark Knight back in 2008). The opening weekend performance of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 was just ahead of the $17.73 million debut of last year's The Intern.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 started out with $7.25 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.02 million from Thursday night shows), declined 12 percent on Saturday to gross $6.35 million and is estimated to decrease 29 percent on Sunday to take in $4.52 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.50 to 1. The audience breakdown for My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 skewed heavily towards female moviegoers (76 percent) and towards moviegoers over the age of 35 (60 percent). The film received a healthy A- rating on CinemaScore, though the film's current Flixster audience score of 70 percent is less impressive. As is the case with Batman v Superman, it does appear that My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is going over better with moviegoers than it has with critics.
Lionsgate's The Divergent Series: Allegiant and Sony's Miracles from Heaven find themselves in an extremely close race for fourth place, as both films are estimated to gross $9.50 million this weekend. However, Miracles from Heaven held up much better this weekend, as it was down a very solid 36 percent from last weekend, while Allegiant was down a troubling 67 percent. Allegiant has grossed $46.61 million in ten days, while Miracles from Heaven has grossed $34.13 million in twelve days. Given their respective costs, expectations and holding power, Miracles from Heaven is obviously having the much more impressive run of the two films. Allegiant is currently running 46 percent behind the $85.85 million ten-day take of last year's Insurgent and running 35 percent behind the $52.46 million twelve-day gross of 2014's Heaven is for Real.
Meanwhile, Paramount's 10 Cloverfield Lane and Fox's Deadpool claimed sixth and seventh place with respective weekend estimates of $6.00 million and $5.00 million. 10 Cloverfield Lane declined a sizable, but respectable 52 percent from last weekend. Deadpool was down just 38 percent, which represented an impressive hold given then added direct competition the film faced from Batman v Superman. Respective total grosses stand at a massive $349.47 million for Deadpool in 45 days and at a healthy $56.01 million for 10 Cloverfield Lane in 17 days.