Warner Bros.’ DC title Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice officially registered on tracking reports this morning, four weeks before its March 25 debut, and industry/non-Warner Bros. estimates have the ultimate feud film between the Dark Knight and the Son of Jor-El opening worldwide between $300M-$340M in over 30K screens. Among global superhero debuts, if BvS actually does those numbers, it would rank fifth behind Avengers ($392.5M), Avengers: Age of Ultron ($392.5M), Spider-Man 3 ($381.7M) and Iron Man 3 ($372.5M).
BvS will open everywhere including China. Warner Bros.’ intent for this massive blast-off is to capitalize on the Easter holiday around the world. While Good Friday will shut down business in countries like Poland, the high holy day isn’t expected to impede foot traffic here in the U.S. Last year, Furious 7‘s Good Friday haul of $67.4M was the highest pre-summer opening day ever.
In the U.S./Canada, the Zack Snyder-directed title is expected to pull in an estimated $120M-$140M at 4,000-plus locations in 3D, 4DX, PLF and Imax (this is updated from our report last week). There’s even a few 70MM prints of BvS (and no, Warner Bros. isn’t using any of the projectors left over from The Hateful Eight). Should those figures stand up, BvS would rank as the second-highest March opening after 2012’s The Hunger Games ($152.5M). Total awareness, definite interest and first choice is huge among males under and over 25. “Youngest females are their weakest quad, but they’re still damn good,” beamed one rival distribution exec this morning.
BvS advance tickets went on sale Monday. How are they? Insiders tell Deadline that the first day sales of BvS outstripped that of The Dark Knight Rises. That 2012 threequel went on to drum up $25M in advance ticket sales before its three-day opening of $160.9M. One rival studio B.O. analyst upon hearing the pre-sales intel on BvS indicated that if the film is truly pacing in tandem with Dark Knight Rises, then the Batman-Superman combo could possibly be looking at a $180M-plus stateside debut. How’s that? Turns out that was the original industry opening projection for Dark Knight Rises before the Aurora, CO. midnight theater shooting struck and slowed down business for the Christopher Nolan film during its first FSS. Put an asterisk on that forecast. Dark Knight Rises had the benefit of summer weekday audiences, BvS is hoping to milk as many spring breakers as possible. However, when it comes to record openings at the box office, does it even matter anymore what season you play?
Rev4Media, a New Bedford, Mass. movie analytics company that measures audiences’ real-time responses to in-theater trailers, reported that 78% of those who watched the final BvS trailer (Feb. 11 version) last weekend would definitely buy a ticket to the movie. That’s not too far from the 83% who reported to Rev4Media that they would buy a ticket to Deadpool after they watched that pic’s trailers in theaters. Rev4Media is the same stat co. that saw the writing on the wall for Gods of Egypt: Back when the Alex Proyas film trailered on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rev4Media noticed months in advance that audiences were turned off by the pic’s first trailer with 50% saying they would never buy tickets to the film.
Overseas broken out is projected between $180M-$200M. Again, these are early predictions and international is always a bear to forecast with number crunchers literally comping every single territory to previous releases. For perspective, Deadpool opened to a little over $150M in all markets but China (that figure includes Korea, Spain and Italy, releasing a week after the U.S.). Deadpool is R-rated, so the PG 13-rated BvS should do $130M-150M outside of China and another $50M in China. The top three superhero pic overseas openings: Spider-Man 3 ($230.5M), Avengers: Age of Ultron ($201.2M) and Iron Man 3 ($198.4M).