Warner Bros.’ The Batman fell -45% in its third frame, yet still easily led the box office with $36.8M, as a new anime title surpassed all expectations in the runner-up slot.
The Batman experienced a better second weekend percentage hold than any of the prior four live action films starring the character. In terms of third weekend holds, though, it finished right in the middle:
- Slightly steeper than 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises (-42%) and 2008’s The Dark Knight (-43%).
- Milder than 2016’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (-54%) and 2017’s Justice League at (-59%).
[Read Boxoffice PRO’s recent article on a history of the Batman franchise’s box office history here.]
Compared to the other most recent blockbuster superhero movie, The Batman also experienced a sharper third weekend decline than did December’s Spider-Man: No Way Home (-34%). However, the comparison is inexact since Home’s third frame fell on the New Year’s Day holiday.
Monday morning quarterbacking
It’s quite possible that Monday afternoon’s weekend actuals will reveal The Batman experienced a steeper drop than initially reported in Sunday morning’s studio estimates, since the latter numbers put it just over a $300M domestic total. As in, just over: $300.09M, to be precise.
Even if Monday’s actuals reveal that the film actually fell short of that benchmark this weekend, though, the movie would doubtless surpass the mark with Monday’s earnings (to be reported on Tuesday afternoon).
The Batman’s $134.0M debut marked the fifth–biggest March opening weekend of all time.
Comparing second weekend percentage drops, The Batman held the second-best among those five titles, behind only 2017’s live-action Beauty and the Beast.
Now comparing third weekends, it again held the second-best of those five films, coming only behind 2012’s The Hunger Games (-43%). By that metric, its third weekend fared better than:
- Beauty and the Beast (-50%).
- 2019’s Captain Marvel (-50%).
- Dawn of Justice (-54%).
Gotham goes worldwide
The Batman has now earned $300.0M domestic and $298.0M overseas, for a $598.1M global total.
At least for the moment, the film has earned a slight majority of its global earnings from the domestic market (50.1%). If that holds when all is said and done, that will mark the first Batman film to do so since 2008:
- The Dark Knight (53.2% domestic).
- The Dark Knight Rises (41.5%).
- Dawn of Justice (37.8%).
- Justice League (34.8%).
The Batman debuted in China this weekend with $12.1M, as more than 40% of the country’s cinemas are currently shut down due to a Covid surge.
Top overseas markets to date are led by the United Kingdom ($43.7M), Mexico ($24.7M), and Australia ($21.3M).
A lot more than zero
FUNimation’s anime fantasy Jujutsu Kaisen 0 outperformed all expectations with an estimated $17.6M opening weekend in second place.
That’s -22% behind the $2.7M opening of FUNimation’s April 2021 comparable anime fantasy Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train.
Based on Gege Akutami’s Japanese manga series of the same name, dating back to 2017, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 follows a teenager at a school for sorcerers, earning plot comparisons to Harry Potter.
Available in both subtitled Japanese and dubbed English, the film played in premium formats including 4DX, DBOX, and PLF screens.
Elsewhere at the box office…
Set in the 1970s, A24’s horror movie X marked the spot with a fourth place opening of $4.4M. Compared to the openings for other similar A24 horror titles in recent years, that’s -33% behind Midsommar ($6.5M), -50% behind The Witch ($8.8M), and -68% behind Hereditary ($13.5M).
Historical crime thriller The Outfit debuted in eighth place with $1.5M. That’s -70% below Mark Rylance’s 2015 crime thriller The Gunman ($5.0M). Starring Rylance, The Outfit marks the directorial debut of Graham Moore, who won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay with 2014’s The Imitation Game. The Outfit’s audience was 56% male and 59% older than 35.
Historical Hindi-language drama The Kashmir Files snuck into the top 10, coming in 10th place with a $1.4M opening. The film is distributed by Zee Studios International.
Supernatural horror Umma (from the Korean word for “mother”) opened below its already-low expectations, failing to crack the $1M mark with a $915K opening. The film is distributed by Sony Pictures and Stage 6, which only announced the title’s release date in late February, giving it less than a month of potential promotion time.
Still ranking sixth place with $3.2M, despite now being available on digital platforms, Spider-Man: No Way Home has now spent all 14 of its weekends in the top 10. 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming spent 11 weekends in that tier, while 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home spent seven.
Universal’s animated Sing 2 notches its 13th weekend in the top 10, taking ninth place this weekend with $1.4M. 2016’s original Sing spent eight weekends in that top tier.
Total box office this weekend came in around $82.2M, which is:
- -19% behind last weekend’s total of $101.9M, when The Batman led for a second frame with $66.5M.
- 4.7x the equivalent weekend in 2021 with $17.2M, as the box office was taking its first pandemic-era steps back to normalcy as Raya and the Last Dragon led for a second frame with $5.7M.
- 53% ahead of the equivalent weekend in 2020 with $53.7M, when Onward led for a second frame with $10.6M. (That weekend was a state of “semi-shutdown” following the World Health Organization officially declaring COVID-19 a pandemic on the Wednesday two days prior. The subsequent weekend was when cinemas nationwide – and, indeed, just about everything – would truly shut down in earnest.)
- -41% behind the equivalent weekend in 2019 with $139.8M, when Captain Marvel led for a second frame with $67.9M.
YTD box office stands at $1.19B. That’s:
- -41% behind this same point in 2019.
- -33% behind this same point in 2020.
- 6.4x this same point in the pandemic recovery year of 2021.
Warner Bros. ranks as the year’s #2 grossing distributor so far in the domestic market, with $310.9M. As has been the case all year so far, the leading distributor remains Sony Pictures with $361.2M.
While Warner Bros. has significantly closed the gap in recent weeks, it seems doubtful they can overtake Sony before the latter releases Morbius on April 1 and pads its lead, especially since Sony’s Uncharted and Spider-Man: No Way Home will also continue to earn millions until then.
Disney seems poised to take the crown at some point this summer or possibly fall, particularly when including their subsidiary 20th Century Studios releases.
Paramount currently claims third with $139.1M and Universal claims fourth with $127.9M.
The Batman has now earned about 65.2% of March’s box office thus far.
As Boxoffice PRO predicted earlier this month, The Batman seems potentially poised to exceed 50% of March’s box office by month’s end, as the next major theatrical release, The Lost City, won’t arrive until the 25th.
That feat has only been accomplished by three films in the 21st century, two of them in the past year alone:
- The Avengers (51.9% of the box office in May 2012).
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (54.7% in September 2021).
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (62.2% in December 2021).
Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates: March 18-20, 2022
|Title||Estimated weekend||% change||Locations||Location change||Average||Total||Weekend||Distributor|
|The Batman||$36,800,000||-45%||4,302||-115||$8,554||$300,090,872||3||Warner Bros.|
|Jujutsu Kaisen 0||$17,698,677||2,286||$7,742||$17,698,677||1||FUNimation|
|Spider-Man: No Way Home||$3,200,000||-21%||2,585||-117||$1,238||$797,543,553||14||Sony Pictures|
|Death on the Nile||$1,700,000||-30%||2,050||-380||$829||$43,574,499||6||20th Century|
|The Outfit||$1,510,000||1,324||$1,140||$1,510,000||1||Focus Features|
|The Kashmir Files||$1,485,000||230||$6,457||$1,485,000||1||Zee Studios|
|Licorice Pizza||$169,794||-3%||507||91||$335||$16,985,798||17||United Artists|
|The Worst Person in the World||$110,000||-47%||139||-89||$791||$2,779,730||7||Neon|
|Drive My Car||$55,907||-22%||74||-28||$756||$2,124,851||17||Janus Films|
|West Side Story||$44,000||2%||450||180||$98||$38,403,455||15||20th Century|
|The Cursed||$37,000||-68%||92||-147||$402||$4,586,807||5||LD Entertainment|
|Jane by Charlotte||$13,447||7||$1,921||$13,447||1||Utopia|
|The Automat||$11,036||41%||9||5||$1,226||$81,312||5||A Slice of Pie Productions|
|Ahed’s Knee||$5,738||1||$5,738||$5,738||1||Kino Lorber|