Long Range Box Office Forecast: The Batman

Photo Credits: Warner Bros. ("The Batman")

As one of the cornerstones of comic book fandom for almost 83 years, DC Comics’ caped crusader has been at the center of some of the film industry’s most memorable moments and biggest box office impacts throughout the past four decades.

As 2022’s first bona fide tentpole to hit the big screen, Matt Reeves’ The Batman is poised to join the club and reinvigorate the theatrical marketplace when it debuts just four weeks from now.

The Batman
Friday, March 4

PROS:

  • Batman is inarguably one of the most valuable and reliable pop culture icons when it comes to the box office, evidenced by numerous blockbuster performances across multiple generations of moviegoers — from Tim Burton’s 1989 film to Christopher Nolan’s early 2000s trilogy and Zack Snyder’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016.
  • Advance tracking, social activity, and trailer imprints for The Batman are the strongest of any release excluding Spider-Man: No Way Home since before the pandemic began. Preliminary metrics align closely with Captain Marvel, which scored the third highest March opening in history with $153.4 million three years ago.

    More bullish models are also generating notable trendlines with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ($177.4 million in December 2019) and Batman v. Superman ($166 million in March 2016, which is also the record for a DC film). 2017’s Beauty and the Beast remake bested the latter for what is the current March record at $174.8 million.

    As for current forecast ranges (listed below), it would not be surprising for them to trend upward in the weeks ahead if pre-sales and reviews come out strong. As Warner Bros.’ first theatrically exclusive tentpole since Tenet, marketing is expected to fire on all cylinders.
  • Another rebirth of the timeless comic book juggernaut is coupled with a new leading man in Robert Pattinson, an actor already well-established in the minds of both fan followers and indie film communities thanks to a diverse and widely praised early career resume.
  • With a strong ensemble cast behind a gallery of familiar Batman mythos characters good, bad, and everything in between, the commercial prospects of this film measure up to the type of A-list talent that has previously helped attract the most casual of Batman and comic book fans for prior cinematic chapters.
  • Comic book films have clearly been the most in-demand throughout pandemic recovery, with five of the top six domestic earners in 2021 hailing from the page. This will notably be DC’s first release since Wonder Woman 1984 during the nascent stages of theatrical re-openings in late 2020, and not far removed from the resounding success of 2019’s Joker.
  • Young audiences and men of all ages have been at the heart of rebounding box office hits over the past year, and The Batman will strongly pull from those bases. The presence of Zoë Kravitz’s Catwoman and Pattinson’s own draw among young women could further expand interest for this film beyond die-hards.
  • After a slow winter box office that saw Spider-Man: No Way Home carry its phenomenal run through January virtually unchallenged (other than by Scream), and a February slate that looks to only modestly improve the status quo, pent-up demand for the next theatrical event should be in full swing by early March — especially as the weather begins to turn warmer and expectations surrounding the pandemic hope to improve again.

    Moreover, a fairly light March slate allows plenty of runway for staying power and retention of premium format screens.
  • Matt Reeves’ involvement itself is a point of strength as he writes and directs with a complete vision for where this new Batman will go, not unlike Nolan’s previous approach. Reeves previously captained the commercially successful and widely lauded modern Planet of the Apes trilogy from 2011 to 2017.

CONS:

  • At two hours and fifty-five minutes, The Batman‘s long run time could marginally limit showtimes-per-day. That’s primarily a factor for opening weekend projections, though, and the relative lack of strong holdovers from January and February should allow theater owners to compensate with plenty of screen space.
  • With what appears to a noir-fueled, gritty take on Gotham City, it remains to be seen how this version of the character and the world around him walk the line between the mainstream appeal of many comic book films versus the psychological nature and more violent aspects that could be off-putting to some parents and/or kids.
  • The reboot of any major franchise or character always comes with a set of built-in risks. Not only must audiences re-familiarize with a new vision and cast, the weight of expectations can be challenging to overcome. Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy remains a beloved staple for many audiences, but after ending ten years ago, enough time may have now passed for the franchise and an evolving audience to warmly embrace Matt Reeves’ interpretation.
  • On a similar note, word of mouth will be crucial for box office staying power. Batman v Superman was notoriously front-loaded with less than a 2x opening weekend multiple despite the prowess of its two characters appearing on screen together for the first time (and starring Ben Affleck in his first turn as Batman).

    Conversely, 2008’s The Dark Knight still achieved a greater-than 3.3x multiple from opening weekends on the back of sensational audience reception.

Long Range Box Office Forecast & 2022 Calendar
(as of 2/4/22)

Release Date Title 3-Day (FSS) Opening Low/High Range Domestic Total Low/High Range Estimated Location Count Distributor
2/11/2022 The Beatles: Get Back – The Rooftop Concert     80 (Wed 2/9) Disney
2/11/2022 Blacklight $2,000,000 – $5,000,000 $5,000,000 – $15,000,000 3,000 Briafcliff Entertainment
2/11/2022 Death on the Nile $12,000,000 – $17,000,000 $40,000,000 – $65,000,000 3,200 Disney / 20th Century Studios
2/11/2022 Marry Me $7,000,000 – $12,000,000 $19,000,000 – $39,000,000 3,500 Universal Pictures
2/18/2022 Dog $8,000,000 – $15,000,000 $30,000,000 – $65,000,000 3,100 MGM
2/18/2022 Uncharted $25,000,000 – $35,000,000 $60,000,000 – $85,000,000 4,000 Sony Pictures / Columbia
2/25/2022 Cyrano (Wide Expansion)     n/a United Artists Releasing
2/25/2022 Studio 666       Open Road Films
3/4/2022 The Batman $135,000,000 – $185,000,000 $340,000,000 – $540,000,000   Warner Bros. Pictures
3/4/2022 Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris       Focus Features
3/11/2022 Untitled Universal Musical Event       Universal Pictures
3/18/2022 Operation Fortune: Ruse De Guerre       STXfilms
3/18/2022 The Outfit       Focus Features
3/18/2022 The Unbreakable Boy       Lionsgate / Kingdom Story Company
3/25/2022 The Lost City       Paramount Pictures
4/1/2022 The Contractor       STXfilms
4/1/2022 Easter Sunday       Universal Pictures
4/1/2022 Morbius       Sony Pictures / Columbia
4/8/2022 Ambulance       Universal Pictures
4/8/2022 Untitled Searchlight       Walt Disney Pictures
4/8/2022 Untitled Universal Event Film 2022 2       Universal Pictures
4/8/2022 Sonic the Hedgehog 2       Paramount Pictures
4/15/2022 Eiffel       Blue Fox Entertainment
4/15/2022 Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore       Warner Bros. Pictures
4/15/2022 Father Stu       Sony Pictures / Columbia
4/15/2022 Untitled WB Event Film 2022 1       Warner Bros. Pictures
4/22/2022 The Bad Guys       Universal Pictures / DreamWorks Animation
4/22/2022 The Northman       Focus Features
4/22/2022 The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent       Lionsgate
4/29/2022 65       Sony / Columbia Pictures
5/6/2022 Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness       Disney / Marvel Studios
5/13/2022 Untitled Blumhouse Productions Project 2022 1       Universal Pictures
5/20/2022 DC Super Pets       Warner Bros. Pictures
5/20/2022 Downton Abbey: A New Era       Focus Features
5/27/2022 Bob’s Burgers       Disney / 20th Century Studios
5/27/2022 Top Gun Maverick       Paramount Pictures
6/3/2022 Untitled WB Event Film 2022 2       Warner Bros. Pictures
6/10/2022 Jurassic World: Dominion       Universal Pictures
6/10/2022 Untitled Searchlight       Disney / Searchlight
6/17/2022 Lightyear       Disney / Pixar
6/17/2022 Oh Hell No       Sony Pictures
6/24/2022 The Black Phone       Universal Pictures
6/24/2022 Elvis       Warner Bros. Pictures
6/24/2022 Untitled Blumhouse Project       Universal Pictures
6/29/2022 Shotgun Wedding       Lionsgate
7/1/2022 Minions: The Rise of Gru       Universal Pictures
7/8/2022 Thor: Love and Thunder       Disney / Marvel Studios
7/15/2022 Bed Rest       STXfilms
7/15/2022 Bullet Train       Sony Pictures
7/22/2022 Blazing Samurai       Paramount Pictures
7/22/2022 Nope       Universal Pictures
7/22/2022 Where the Crawdads Sing       Sony / 3000 Pictures
7/29/2022 Black Adam       Warner Bros. Pictures
8/5/2022 Secret Headquarters       Paramount Pictures
8/5/2022 Untitled WB Event Film 2022 3       Warner Bros. Pictures
8/12/2022 Untitled Searchlight       Disney / Searchlight
8/12/2022 Man from Toronto       Sony Pictures / Columbia
8/19/2022 Beast       Universal Pictures
8/26/2022 The Bride       Sony Pictures / Columbia
8/26/2022 Samaritan       United Artists Releasing
9/2/2022 (no releases scheduled)        
9/9/2022 Salem’s Lot       Warner Bros. / New Line
9/16/2022 Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.       Lionsgate
9/16/2022 Distant       Universal Pictures
9/16/2022 The Woman King       Sony / TriStar Pictures
9/23/2022 Don’t Worry Darling       Warner Bros. Pictures
9/23/2022 Puss In Boots: The Last Wish       Universal Pictures / DreamWorks Animation
9/23/2022 Untitled 20th Century 2022 3       Disney / 20th Century Studios
9/30/2022 Bros       Universal Pictures
10/7/2022 Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One)       Sony Pictures
10/14/2022 Halloween Ends       Universal Pictures
10/14/2022 White Bird: A Wonder Story       Lionsgate
10/21/2022 Ticket to Paradise       Universal Pictures
10/21/2022 Untitled Paramount       Paramount Pictures
10/28/2022 The Devil’s Light       Lionsgate
11/4/2022 The Flash       Warner Bros. Pictures
11/4/2022 Untitled Bee Gees       Paramount Pictures
11/4/2022 Untitled David O. Russell       Disney / 20th Century Studios
11/11/2022 Black Panther: Wakanda Forever       Disney / Marvel Studios
11/18/2022 Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile       Sony / Columbia Pictures
11/18/2022 Untitled WB Event Film 2022 4       Warner Bros. Pictures
11/18/2022 She Said       Universal Pictures
11/18/2022 Thirteen Lives       MGM / United Artists Releasing
11/23/2022 Creed III       MGM
11/23/2022 The Fabelmans       Universal Pictures
11/23/2022 Strange World       Walt Disney Pictures
12/2/2022 Violent Night       Universal Pictures
12/9/2022 (no releases scheduled)        
12/16/2022 Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom       Warner Bros. Pictures
12/21/2022 Avatar 2       Disney / 20th Century Studios
12/21/2022 Mario       Universal Pictures
12/23/2022 I Wanna Dance With Somebody       Sony Pictures / TriStar Pictures
12/23/2022 Untitled 20th Century 2022 6       Disney / 20th Century Studios
12/30/2022 (no releases scheduled)        

All above figures represent best and worst case scenarios for how each respective film is currently tracking based on existing market conditions and projected model fluctuation before release. These are not final forecasts.

Pinpoint opening weekend and domestic total projections are available exclusively to Boxoffice PRO clients. For more information on forecasts, pricing, and availability, please contact us.

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