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Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice lands record $170.1 million US debut

Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice

Story by Jack Foley

IT MAY have received a critical drubbing but Zack Snyder’s Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice has opened to a whopping $170.1 million in the US.

The figure represents the sixth highest opening of all time in the US and the fourth best of all time for a superhero film behind a trio of Marvel titles: The Avengers ($207.4 million), Avengers: Age of Ultron ($191.3 million) and Iron Man 3 ($174.1 million), not accounting for inflation.

Globally, the film took $424.1 million, to land the fourth best world-wide debut of all time behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($529 million), Jurassic World ($524.9 million) and the final Harry Potter film ($483.2 million).

In China alone, the film took $57.3 million, bringing its international take to $254 million – the biggest for any superhero movie.

The film did, however, clearly benefit from Warner Bros and DCs’ decision to open the film on the same day and date everywhere. But to put the figure in some kind of context, the previous biggest superhero opening was The Avengers, with a global bow of $392.5 million.

Jeff Goldstein, Warners domestic distribution chief, was clearly delighted, saying: “There is no question this is an extraordinary achievement. Clearly, audiences have embraced it and we are already seeing repeat business. It’s just fun. Often, there’s a disconnect between critics and audiences.”

Another record the film set was the largest opening of all-time for a DC Comics title. The previous best was Christopher Nolan’s final Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, which debuted to $160.9 million in the summer of 2012.

As its name suggests, Batman Vs Superman sees Batman (played by Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill) battling it out as Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) brings to life another deadly threat to the world.

It also lays the foundations for the future Justice League movies by introducing a number of other DC characters, most notably Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), who makes her first appearance ahead of getting her own stand-alone movie next year.

The two Justice League movies will also be directed by Snyder, with shooting set to begin in April.

Elsewhere at the US box office, romantic comedy sequel My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, the follow-up to the 2002 hit, was the only film that dared to open opposite Batman vs Superman but did so in the hope of attracting a more female-orientated audience.

And the move paid off, with the long-gestating sequel opening to a better-than-expected $18.1 million for third spot. Exit polls showed that women made up 73% of the audience.

Disney Animation Studios’ juggernaut Zootopia, aka Zootropolis in the UK, placed second with a strong $23.1 million for a US total to date of $240.5 million. Overseas, it also earned another $42.5 million for an international total of $456.2 million and global haul of nearly $700 million ($696.7 million).

In China, it zoomed past the $200 million mark to become the second Disney title of all time behind Avengers: Age of Ultron.

The Divergent Series: Allegiant — Part 1 tied for fourth spot with Sony’s faith-based offering, Miracles From Heaven, with both films earning an estimated $9.5 million. The final positions for those two films will be decided once the numbers are properly crunched on Monday.

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