Weekend Box Office: The Batman and BTS Pack Theaters as Domestic Market Crosses $1 Billion

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

Warner Bros.’ gritty reboot The Batman fell -51% in its sophomore frame, still easily claiming first place with $66.0M given the lack of new wide releases.

Directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson as the title character, the film experienced a better sophomore frame hold than any other recent movies starring the character:

  • 2008’s The Dark Knight at -53%.
  • 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises at -61%.
  • 2017’s Justice League at -56%. (That film’s sophomore frame came on Thanksgiving weekend, helping its numbers.)
  • 2016’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice at -69%.

[Read Boxoffice PRO’s recent article on a history of the Batman franchise’s box office history here.]

The Batman also notably beat the sophomore frame of December’s Spider-Man: No Way Home at -67%.

(However, that comparison may be a bit unfair because Home’s second frame came during the peak week for the Omicron variant of COVID-19, steepening its box office decline. For comparison, no subsequent weekend of the film experienced anything steeper than a -42% drop.)

March

The Batman’s $134.0M debut marked the fifth–biggest March opening weekend of all time.

Compared to the sophomore frames for the four March titles ahead of it, it declined steeper than the top March opening ever, 2017’s live-action Beauty and the Beast which dropped -48%.

However, it held better than:

  • The #2 March opening: 2016’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice with -69%.
  • The #3 March opening: 2019’s Captain Marvel with -56%.
  • The #4 March opening: 2012’s The Hunger Games with -62%.

Theatrical exclusivity

The Batman’s huge start was doubtless helped by Warner Bros. granting theatrical exclusivity, after all of their theatrical releases in December 2020 and through 2021 debuted day-and-date simultaneously on HBO Max.

Not since August 2020’s Tenet had Warner Bros. committed a film exclusively to the big screen.

This shows with The Batman’s better sophomore frame hold than for other major Warner Bros. films from December 2020 to present:

  • Godzilla vs. Kong with -57%.
  • Dune with -62%.
  • The Matrix Resurrections with -64%.
  • Wonder Woman 1984 with -67%.
  • Space Jam: A New Legacy with -69%.
  • The Suicide Squad with -71%

Compare that to their last film with theatrical exclusivity, 2020’s Tenet, which declined only -29% despite relatively poor word of mouth.

Overseas and global

The Batman has now earned $238.5M domestic and $224.7.M overseas, for a $463.2M global total.

The story isn’t over yet, but at least for now, the film has earned a majority of its global earnings from the domestic market at 51.4%.

If that holds when all is said and done, it will mark the first Batman film to do so since 2008:

  • The Dark Knight earned 53.2% domestic.
  • The Dark Knight Rises at 41.5% domestic.
  • 2016’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice at 37.8% domestic.
  • Justice League at 34.8% domestic.

WB

Warner Bros. ranks as the year’s #2 grossing distributor so far in the domestic market, with $249.3M.

As has been the case all year so far, the leading distributor remains Sony Pictures with $342.5M. Paramount claims third with $138.3M and Universal claims fourth with $125.1M. 

Disney seems poised to take the crown at some point this summer or possibly fall, particularly when including their subsidiary 20th Century Studios releases.

Looking ahead 

As Boxoffice PRO predicted last Sunday, The Batman seems potentially poised to exceed 50% of the month’s box office, as the next major theatrical release, The Lost City, won’t arrive until March 25.

That feat has only been accomplished by three films in the 21st century, two of them in the past year alone:

  • The Avengers with 51.9% of the box office in May 2012.
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings with 54.7% in September 2021.
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home with 62.2% in December 2021.

$1B

The year’s domestic box office surpassed $1B this weekend, a milestone on the route to post-pandemic recovery.

For comparison, both 2019 and 2020 reached that mark during the second week of February, while this year did so during the second week of March.

However, the pandemic recovery year of 2021 didn’t do so until June.

Comparisons

Total box office this weekend came in around $98.6M, which is:

  • -40% behind last weekend’s total of $166.0M, when The Batman led with $134.0M.
  • 4.0x the equivalent weekend in 2021 with $24.2M, as the box office was taking its first pandemic-era steps back to normalcy as Raya and the Last Dragon led with $8.5M.
  • -2% behind the equivalent weekend in 2020 with $100.7M, when Onward led with $39.1M.
  • -53% behind the equivalent weekend in 2019 with $210.5M, when Captain Marvel led with $153.4M.

YTD box office stands at $1.06B. That’s -42% behind this same point in 2019 and -38% behind this same point in 2020, and about 6.6x this same point in the pandemic recovery year of 2021.

Elsewhere at the box office…

BTS

Perhaps no current music act inspires more mania than seven-member K-pop group BTS, which showed with Trafalgar Releasing’s livestreamed concert BTS Permission to Dance on Stage: Seoul.

Playing for only one of the three days this week, Saturday, the film debuted in third place with $6.8M.

Tickets were priced as high as $35, which Deadline said “might be a record.” (The so-called “live” concert was technically slightly tape-delayed in North America, since it actually occurred at about 3:45 A.M. Eastern Standard Time.)

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Still ranking fifth place in its 13th frame with $4.0M, No Way Home has now spent all 13 of its weekends in the top 10.

That eclipses 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming which spent 11 weekends in that tier, as well as 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home which spent seven.

Sing 2

On the subject of movies spending many frames in the top 10, Universal’s animated Sing 2 notches its 12th weekend in that tier. For comparison, 2016’s original Sing spent eight.

The sequel took seventh place this weekend, with $1.5M. That represents only a -3 percent decline from the previous frame, the mildest drop of any film in the top 10.


Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates: March 11-13, 2022

Title Estimated weekend % change Locations Location change Average Total Weekend Distributor
The Batman $66,000,000 -51% 4,417 n/c $14,942 $238,520,826 2 Warner Bros.
Uncharted $9,250,000 -17% 3,725 -150 $2,483 $113,355,790 4 Sony Pictures
BTS: Permission to Dance on Stage – Seoul $6,840,000   803   $8,518 $6,840,000 1 Trafalgar Releasing
Dog $5,346,376 -13% 3,407 -100 $1,569 $47,803,478 4 United Artists
Spider-Man: No Way Home $4,075,000 -10% 2,702 -7 $1,508 $792,285,954 13 Sony Pictures
Death on the Nile $2,500,000 -9% 2,450 -115 $1,020 $40,796,574 5 20th Century Studios
Sing 2 $1,580,000 -3% 1,988 -38 $795 $155,825,000 12 Universal
jackass forever $1,099,813 -23% 1,627 -354 $676 $56,281,000 6 Paramount
Scream $444,711 -23% 664 -189 $670 $80,905,000 9 Paramount
Cyrano $390,547 -42% 694 -103 $563 $3,321,279 13 United Artists
Marry Me $345,000 -38% 873 -373 $395 $22,028,800 5 Universal
The Worst Person in the World $195,500 -11% 228 -36 $857 $2,560,380 6 Neon
Licorice Pizza $178,271 14% 416 205 $429 $16,709,590 16 United Artists
Belfast $90,000 9% 591 68 $152 $8,864,920 18 Focus Features
Encanto $78,000 -24% 310 5 $252 $95,740,409 16 Walt Disney
Drive My Car $71,557 8% 102 n/c $702 $2,047,675 16 Janus Films
Moonfall $53,000 -33% 165 -73 $321 $19,031,784 6 Lionsgate
West Side Story $42,000 -24% 275 110 $153 $38,321,854 14 20th Century Studios
All My Friends Hate Me $37,188   27   $1,377 $37,188 1 Super LTD
Nightmare Alley $16,000 -13% 280 30 $57 $11,244,053 13 Searchlight
The Automat $8,532 46% 4 2 $2,133 $65,979 4 A Slice of Pie Productions

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