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Box office hits and misses: Batman V Superman falls hard while Zootopia cruises

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Image used with permission by copyright holder
As expected, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice followed its impressive — but polarizing — debut with an equally big drop-off at the box office, despite the absence of any significant competition for audiences.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ $250 million sequel to Man of Steel added an estimated $52.4 million to its domestic gross during its second weekend in theaters, dropping more than 68 percent from its opening weekend earnings. The week-to-week change is one of the steepest drops for any superhero movie ever released, and confirms many pundits’ predictions for the trouble the film will face in theaters amid all the negative buzz surrounding it.

Still, opinions are mixed as to whether the forecast really is all doom and gloom for Dawn of Justice. While some box-office experts have cited the 61-percent drop that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 took that prompted Sony Pictures to put the franchise on hold, others have pointed to the 72-percent drop-off for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which still went on to become the highest-grossing film of that blockbuster franchise.

# Title Weekend U.S. Total Worldwide Total
1. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice $52.4M $261.4M $682.8M
2. Zootopia $20M $275.9M $787.6M
3. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 $11.1M $36.5M $54.9M
4. God’s Not Dead 2 $8.1M $8.1M $8.1M
5. Miracles From Heaven $7.5M $46.8M $50.2M
6. The Divergent Series: Allegiant $5.7M $56.4M $136.7M
7. 10 Cloverfield Lane $4.7M $63.5M $81.7M
8. Meet the Blacks $4.1M $4.1M $4.1M
9. Eye in the Sky $4M $6.1M $6.1M
10. Deadpool $3.5M $355.1M $754.4M

As for the weekend’s films that didn’t involve Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman, Disney’s latest animated feature moved $20 million closer to beating the studio’s current record-holder for animated features, Frozen, which earned $400.7 million in U.S. theaters over the course of its run. Zootopia has now earned $275.9 million domestically, and unlike Batman V Superman, it isn’t showing any signs of losing momentum.

The only new releases to break into the weekend’s top ten films were the faith-based sequel God’s Not Dead 2 and Mike Epps’ comedy Meet the Blacks, which each ended up earning pretty close to what was predicted for the films.

Next weekend appears to offer yet another opportunity for Batman V Superman to add to its box-office numbers without much in the way of competition, but the week does include a few notable — if not high-profile — new releases. Among them is the first-person-perspective action film Hardcore Henry, as well as the Jake Gyllenhaal drama Demolition and the black comedy Mr. Right, starring Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell.

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Rick Marshall
A veteran journalist with more than two decades of experience covering local and national news, arts and entertainment, and…
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