The protector of Gotham City is once again flying high atop the box office charts, as Warner Bros./DC’s “The Batman” has scored a spectacular $134 million opening weekend from 4,417 theaters after final weekend results came in Monday, becoming only the second film since the pandemic began to open to over $100 million.
The Matt Reeves-directed blockbuster is set to be the biggest theatrical hit for Warner Bros. since the DC film featuring Batman’s nemesis “Joker” was in theaters in fall 2019. And for movie theaters, it’s a much-needed boost in business after theaters were closed in 2020 and spent much of the past year trying to get back on their feet as the box office recovered in fits and starts.
In fact, not only is this Warner’s best opening weekend since the $123 million opening of “It” in September 2017, it is the first film that was not released by Disney or produced by Marvel Studios to break the $100 million opening mark since Universal’s “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” in summer 2018.
Globally, “The Batman” is off to a strong start on the road to $1 billion, earning an estimated worldwide opening of $248.5 million. That number could inch past $250 million after Sunday numbers are tallied. The U.K. was the top overseas market with $18.4 million, followed by Mexico with $12 million and Australia with $9.2 million. The film will be released in Japan this Friday and in China on March 18.
Unlike “Batman v Superman — Dawn of Justice,” which was met with decidedly tepid reviews in 2016 and saw its numbers drop hard after opening weekend, “The Batman” should have strong legs throughout March with excellent critical and audience reception. It has Rotten Tomatoes scores of 85% critics and 90% audience to go with an A- on CinemaScore and a 4.5/5 overall rating on Postrak.
The release of “The Batman” also meant a big weekend for Imax, which recently reported a profitable quarter for the first time since the pandemic began thanks to tentpole blockbusters. Warner Bros. reports that $15 million of the film’s domestic opening came from Imax screens, accounting for 12% of the overall total. In all, premium format screenings account for 30% of all domestic business for “The Batman” this weekend.
While “The Batman” dominated the charts as expected, accounting for 80% of all theatrical revenue this weekend, Sony/Columbia’s “Uncharted” still hit a milestone in its third weekend in theaters by reaching the $100 million domestic mark, becoming the fourth Sony release in the last six months to do so as it added $11 million this weekend.
MGM’s “Dog” takes the No. 3 spot with $6 million in its third weekend to give the $15 million dramedy a domestic total of $40 million. Sony/Marvel’s “Spider-Man: No Way Home” adds $4.4 million to give it a total of $786 million domestic and $1.86 billion worldwide after 12 weekends.
Completing the Top 5 is 20th Century’s “Death on the Nile” with $2.7 million in its fourth weekend for a domestic total of $37.1 million and a global total of $115 million against a reported $90 million budget. Despite disappointing at the box office and grossing far less than its 2017 predecessor “Murder on the Orient Express” due to the core older demographic staying away amidst COVID-19 concerns, Disney and 20th Century have given star/director Kenneth Branagh the green light to make a third Poirot adaptation, as “Nile” earned positive reviews from critics and audiences.