After it’s record setting opening weekend, Warner Brothers’ Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice dropped 55% from it’s $51.34 million sophomore showing, leaving it at a healthy total of $260 million domestically (an even more robust worldwide tally of $784 million).
Edging out the WB superhero tentpole by less than $300,000 was the Melissa McCarthy vehicle The Boss from Universal, coming in at $23.58 million.
Hardcore Henry, the low-budget first-person shoot-em-up from the burgeoning STX Entertainment, came in just above $5 million, recouping about half it’s reported operating budget.
Demolition, a mid-life crisis drama featuring Jake Gyllenhaal, pulled in just over $1 million for Fox, under their Searchlight banner.
Big risers included indie films just now receiving wide release. Midnight Special, the odd sci-fi offering from indie stalwart Jeff Nichols, more than doubled it’s standing box office total after it was released in an additional 400+ theaters. Miles Ahead, a Miles Davis biopic, and Everybody Wants Some, Richard Linklater’s 1980s college romp, both increased their intake by over 50%. While these totals may been helped by positive reviews, the slight uptick for universally panned mythical action flick Gods of Egypt cannot be attributed to anything but it’s release in additional theaters.
For the next few weeks, the big box office question will be exactly how much of an audience Batman v Superman can continue to draw. Though it’s already made more than the reported budget, the expectations were that it should easily break the $1 billion mark. The good news is that they’re already three quarters of the way there. The bad news is that the huge drops of 69% and 55% in it’s second and third weeks portend badly for it’s box office legs. The almost unprecedented levels of pre-release hype made it’s impressive opening borderline inevitable, regardless of reviews. However, for moviegoers without a pre-existing interest in the subject matter, whose opinions may be swayed by a critical consensus as pronounced as is the one with BvS, many will decide to spend their money and time elsewhere. Though odds are that the film will end up with enough money to allay any corporate fears, the apparently increasing ambivalence may make crossing the finish line a nail biting proposition for the folks at Warner Bros.
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