We’re still over a month out from the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in theaters on March 25, but early tracking puts the superhero film’s opening weekend at a respectable, if not groundbreaking, $154 million.
That number comes from BoxOffice, which weighed a variety of pros and cons before estimating over $150 million. Man of Steel, the film’s immediate predecessor, did fairly well with a $116 million opening, and the new film’s got both Batman and Wonder Woman — two pillars of DC Comics’ stable and both influential in whatever the company’s got cooking for its cinematic universe going forward.
Despite a relatively strong release, Man of Steel elicited a mixed response from critics, with some particularly loud voices panning the film (I was not someone who reviewed the film back when it released back in 2013 but would have also given it low marks). There’s also the relative proximity to director Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, which could potentially negatively impact a new Batman film.
Complicating any and all predictions for how Batman v Superman will perform is the general prevalence of movies based on Marvel comics. There’s so many, including but not limited to the upcoming Captain America: Civil War and Deadpool, that there’s some concern that audiences could be left with superhero fatigue. If all you’re constantly offered is big and bombastic, it can be difficult for new films to exceed or even meet expectations.
However, Warner Bros. will surely be pushing the film at an ever-increasing rate as March creeps closer. It could turn out to be a pile of trash as a movie, and opening weekend sales could still be strong thanks to intense promotion. The film is absolutely a lynchpin in the company’s plans given that it’s supposedly leading directly into the formation of the Justice League and the subsequent film based on said group.