Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice has enjoyed a record-breaking debut weekend despite flopping with critics.
Zack Snyder’s special effects heavy blockbuster raked in a massive $170.1 million over the Easter holiday state-side to score the biggest DC Comics opening of all-time (beating The Dark Knight Rises), the best March launch (beating The Hunger Games), Warner Bros’ best US opening (beating Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2), best superhero movie opening (beating The Avengers), and the sixth largest domestic debut ever. Its worldwide gross was an impressive $424.1 million and it took £15.5 million in the UK to set a March record here.
Snyder, Henry Cavill’s Superman, Ben Affleck’s Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman proved strong draws among film fans, as did the $250 million spent on first class production.
Reviews flooded in last week, with most critics awarding the movie a decidedly average three stars. The Telegraph’s Robbie Collin wrote that “no major blockbuster in years has been this incoherently structured” while Forbes’ Scott Mendelson warned that the convoluted plot will “hurt your brain”.
The cast and crew, however, have shrugged off their film’s 31 per cent Rotten Tomatoes approval rating, insisting that it is the fans’ response that they care about.
“The audience’s voice is loudest and after this weekend the audience, at least partly, will have spoken,” Cavill said before Batman V Superman’s release, and speak it did.
Warner Bros is “proud” of the movie’s success following a string of recent box office bombs from Pan to Jupiter Ascending. The studio is producing a slate of superhero spin-offs and sequels over the next five years, with the much-hyped Suicide Squad coming up next in August.
By Jess Denham