erik lundegaard

Sunday April 10, 2016

Box Office: Melissa McCarthy Beats Up Batman and Superman


Superman can't stay aloft.

Expect a lot of similar headlines for the weekend's box office, in which McCarthy's “The Boss” debuted at $23.48 million, beating the third weekend of “Batman v Superman,” which fell another 54.3% to $23.43 million.

Obviously it's a squeaker, and those positions could reverse when the actuals come in tomorrow. Besides, a more accurate headline would read something like:

Auds Opt for New Crappy Comedy over Older, Shitty Superhero Movie

“Boss” got 18% on Rotten Tomatoes; “BvS” 29%. And as I wrote yesterday, that's higher than it really deserves.

Meanwhile, “Zootopia” (98%) stayed strong, earning another $14 mil in its sixth weekend, for third place. It's now grossed $852 million worldwide, the biggest global hit of the year, followed by “BvS” at $783.5 and “Deadpool” at $755.

“Deadpool” (83%) is still the 2016 b.o. champ in the U.S., where it's grossed $358 vs. $296 each for “Zootopia” and “BvS.”

“Batman v Superman” isn't a disaster but there are a lot of indicators that everyone is pretty much turned off, and that doesn't bode well for next year's “Justice League” movie. Here, for example, is a chart of how the movie has done each weekend:

Batman v Superman $$ Drop Place
First Wknd $166.00   7th
Second Wknd $51.33 69.1% 32nd
Third Wknd $23.43 54.3% 63rd

The key is that last column. Its opening weekend was the 7th-best opening weekend ever, its second weekend the 32nd-best second weekend ever, and this weekend it had the 63rd-best third weekend ever. Which, right, is nothing to sneeze at. But quality blockbusters don't drop like rocks like that. That Superman can't stay aloft should be a little embarrassing. And that a pairing of Batman and Superman, the two most famous superheroes in the world, can't stay aloft should be earth-shattering for Warner Bros., since it indicates hundreds of millions of dollars that won't be made in box office, and that again, or times two, in merchandising.

Here are a few insider comments from Kim Masters' recent piece in The Hollywood Reporter:

“The biggest problem,” says the head of a rival studio, “is that it is not turning [DC] into Marvel. The audience has communicated, as have the critics.” One agent notes BvS likely won't get to $1 billion despite launching the universe with “two of the most iconic characters in history.” Pointing out that Jurassic World pulled in $1.67 billion globally, he continues, “you can't tell me Batman v. Superman is so much less valuable.”

So #FireZackSnyder? Nope:

Sources with firsthand knowledge of the situation say the studio has no such plans [to change producers/directors]. One says the filmmakers naturally will evaluate what went wrong with BvS, but when it comes to Justice League, “we're not going to take a movie that's supposed to be one thing and turn it into a copycat of something else.”

Warner Bros. is doubling down on the dumb. I guess it's all they've got at the moment.

Posted at 10:47 AM on Sunday April 10, 2016 in category Movies - Box Office  
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Twitter: @ErikLundegaard