Here’s some great news as CinemaCon kicks off today, underscoring the value of a 45-day theatrical window.
Not only can Warner Bros. celebrate racking up $750 WW and $365M stateside at the box office on Matt Reeves’ The Batman before the pic’s April 18 debut on HBO Max, but the DC movie’s first week viewership in Smart TV U.S. households at 4.1 million beats the first seven days of such HBO Max/Warner Bros. movies The Suicide Squad (3.5M), Wonder Woman 1984 (3.2M), The Matrix Resurrections (3.2M) and Dune (2.3M) — all of which were same day theatrical day-and-date movies last year under Warner Bros. pandemic release plan. Batman‘s first week is the second best for a theatrical movie on HBO Max after New Line’s Mortal Kombat (4.3M). The Batman‘s first week was even bigger than Zack Snyder’s Justice League which pulled in 2.2M U.S. households, that pic a direct to HBO Max title.
Of Warner’s day-and-date tentpoles last year, only Dune and Godzilla vs. Kong grossed over $100M at the domestic box office.
Under that pandemic model, which kicked off with Wonder Woman 1984 in December 2020 and ended with Matrix Resurrections, saw movies on HBO Max and in theaters for their first 30 days, and then exclusive to theatrical in their next month. WarnerMedia brass have cited that ‘project popcorn’ did indeed fuel subscribers to HBO Max. Warners announced very early on last year they were returning to a 45-day theatrical window with their release slate.
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Samba numbers do not include mobile views. Again, this gives some sort of semblance of the success of The Batman as streamers do not report their viewership numbers (publicly in millions of US households). Typically when confronted with Samba TV data, a streamer will say that their viewership is significantly bigger than what the third-party source is measuring.
WarnerMedia was technically the first major Hollywood studio to reopen cinemas nationwide (outside of NYC and LA) with Christopher Nolan’s Tenet in August 2020. While they put their theatrical slate on HBO Max last year due to Covid, they still sought to keep movies in theaters, so as to provide a lifeline for exhibition, and on what we’ve widely heard were generous terms.
Of the top 25 largest markets for The Batman in Live+6 day, Samba TV reports that Sacramento, CA over-indexed the most (+31%), followed by Philadelphia, PA (+26%) and Portland, OR (+22%).
Again, a positive sign here on Batman on HBO Max, demonstrating that when a studio creates a cultural event out of a movie, it trickles down into other ancillaries, enabling the IP to thrive. Batman‘s current B.O. is $367.7M U.S., $754.3M WW.
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