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Weekend Box Office: Dawn of Justice Takes Big Plunge But Easily Tops Newcomers

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By Chris Kavan - 04/03/16 at 08:30 PM CT

It turns out the negative reviews and lack of very good word-of-mouth did indeed take its toll on the Justice League setup Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The competition wasn't exactly strong, with a Christian sequel and a horror parody to contend with, but the drop was still very significant. Still, that doesn't mean the film isn't a certified hit, just that it could mean troubled waters for the DC franchise unless they can right the ship with their upcoming slate of films. I, for one, didn't think it was as bad as it was made out to be - but we'll see how it continues to perform in the face of actual competition these next few weeks.

1) BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE

The film dropped a troubling 68.4% in its second week out. That is the seventh-largest drop for a superhero film and the fifth largest for any film with a $100 million plus opening. It wasn't as large as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 (which remains the steepest at 72%) but the signs are a bit more troubling. The main issue is that many films which took a big hit did so because they faced real competition. The aforementioned Harry Potter film likely took that big a hit because it faced Captain America: The First Avenger in its second weekend. Man of Steel took a 67.7% hit in its second weekend as it faced World War Z. But Dawn of Justice didn't face anything near competition - God's Not Dead 2 opened lower than the original film while Meet the Blacks didn't even open in the top five. It's not exactly the numbers that make for a good franchise starter. Still, even with the drop, Dawn of Justice has already earned $261.4 million domestic and nearly $700 million worldwide ($682.2 million to be exact) and has already topped Man of Steel ($668 million) and the first two Iron Man films (at $585.2 and $623.9 million respectively) in that regard. To say the film is failure or a bomb is simply wrong - but to say it is a disappointment - one could well argue it sets a dangerous precedent for DC and Warner Bros. moving forward. I'm interested to see how their next films play out (especially the upcoming Suicide Squad) and how Dawn of Justice continues to perform in the face of much stiffer competition from the likes of Hardcore Henry and The Huntsman: Winter's War. A finish around $370 million is still likely.

2) ZOOTOPIA

Moving on to a film that has done the exact opposite of Dawn of Justice, Zootopia continues to have a fantastic hold at the box office. In its fifth weekend out, the animated film dipped a light 16.7% (the best hold in the top 12) and earned another $20 million to raise its total to $276 million. With a world-wide total of $787.6 million, officially making it the highest-grossing film of 2016 (topping Deadpool). The film will shortly become just the 10th animated feature to reach the $300 million milestone. Even with The Jungle Book on its way, Zootopia should have no problem hitting that mark and should wind up around $350 million at least.

3) MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2

Sticking to its third-place spot, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 also had a nice hold at the box office, dropping 37.7% in its second weekend and adding $11.1 million to its $36.4 million total. That doubles its $18 million budget and took only two weeks to reach the same place the original film had to wait 100 days to reach. $50 million is well within reach and it should make a nice, tidy profit by being the only romantic comedy in store for quite some time.



4) GOD'S NOT DEAD 2

We have to go all the way down to the fourth spot to find our first new film and that would be the sequel God's Not Dead 2, which took in $8.1 million in its opening weekend. That total is lower than God's Not Dead, which took in $9.2 million on its way to a surprising $60.7 million total. This is playing like any conventional sequel would and it looking to earn a little over half of what the original film took in ($35-$38 million is likely) and with a low budget, is likely to be well into the black. Still, its opening was barely above Miracles from Heaven (in its third week, mind you) and goes to show that inclusive Christian films seem more likely to bring an an audience than films that persecute the audience. Granted, it hasn't stopped all the films in the past - but I, for one, subscribe to this theory with gusto, if only because I really dislike the persecutions concept in general.

5) MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN

As stated, Miracles from Heaven nearly topped God's Not Dead 2 in its opening weekend with a fine $7.55 million third week. That was also a slight 22.1% drop and gives the film a new total of just under $50 million with a $46.8 million total. It will cross that mark by next weekend. It will lose a bit of steam but should chug right along to top $60 million before riding off into the sunset.


Outside the top five: The new wide release film Meet the Blacks hit just over 1000 theaters and took in about $4.1 million for the seventh-place spot. That's actually a decent total for a film that A) didn't screen for critics and B) landed in a limited amount of theaters with light marketing. With a likely low budget itself, this one should come out just fine.

Expanding this weekend were Eye in the Sky, Hello, My Name is Doris and the Hank Williams biopic I Saw the Light. Eye in the Sky has the biggest jump (both in terms of theaters and in the box office rankings) adding 906 theaters (playing in 1029 - more than Meet the Blacks 1015) and jumped from 11th to 9th place for a $4.05 million weekend (almost on par with Meet the Blacks) for a $6.1 million total and a 334% increase from last weekend. Doris added 479 theater for a new 964 theater total but swapped places with Eye in the Sky dropping from 9th to 11th place with a $2.3 million weekend and new $6.6 million total. I Saw the Light added 736 theaters and made the biggest leap from 47th all the way to 13th place with $745,435 but the somewhat maligned film had a poor $1006 per-theater average.

One to keep watch on is Richard Linklater's Everybody Wants Some!! the long-awaited somewhat sequel to Dazed and Confused hit 19 theaters where it brought in $323,000 (19th place) and will expand wide next week.

Next week brings us Melissa McCarthy's new comedy The Boss, the first-person perspective action film Hardcore Henry, horror film Before I Wake and the expansion of Everybody Wants Some!!

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