By Pamela McClintock, The Hollywood Reporter
The verdict is in: Zack Snyder’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice will end up as the No. 7 comic-book movie of all time at the worldwide box office to date, not accounting for inflation.
Through Sunday, BvS — which is all but done with its run — has grossed $862.9 million globally, including $325.1 million in North America (37.7 percent of its total) and $537.8 million internationally (62.3 percent). It’s likely to finish up in the $875 million range when all is said and done, not enough to change the order.
The picture is different in North America, where BvS currently ranks as the No. 11 comic-book movie, again not accounting for inflation. It could overtake Guardians of the Galaxy ($333.2 million) to rank as No. 10, and possibly Spider-Man 3 ($336.5 million), but it won’t catch up with the recent Deadpool ($361.8 million). Overseas, it’s the No. 7 superhero title.
In terms of 2016 titles to date, BvS trails behind Disney’s Zootopia, ($931.4 million and counting).
Since BvS’ launch in late March, there’s been plenty of debate about the movie’s performance,and its steep drop-off following a record-breaking opening of $166 million domestically, a best for the month of March.
Warner Bros. is steadfast in proclaiming the tentpole, starring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill, an enormous victory, saying it successfully launches the DC cinematic universe. (The next outing is director David Ayer’s Suicide Squad on Aug. 5., while Snyder is in the midst of shooting the first Justice League.)
BvS, costing at least $225 million to produce before marketing, has grossed notably more than Snyder’s Man of Steel, which first introduced Cavill as the newest superman. Released in 2013, Man of Steel took in $668 million globally and $291 million domestically.
“This is fantastic result, by any measure,” said Warner Bros. domestic distribution chief Jeff Goldstein.
Some box-office analysts are more circumspect, noting that Dawn of Justice won’t get to $900 million, much less $1 billion.
“Still, outside of Christopher Nolan’s two Dark Knight movies, and Tim Burton’s Batman films when you adjust for inflation, this is the highest-grossing property in DC’s bullpen thus far. It tops Man of Steel by more than $200 million,” says analyst Jeff Bock. “So yes, BvS successfully relaunched DC’s cinematic universe, but they are nowhere near Disney/Marvel in terms of critical reception and box office prowess. One can only hope that bigger and better is still on the way.”
Another insider says to become a member of the billion-dollar club requires “a great release date, great reviews and solid social media buzz,” a trifecta BvS failed to achieve.
Internationally, BvS didn’t break any records in Europe and Asia (it decidedly underwhelmed in China), but overperformed in Latin America.
The movie was roundly rejected by critics (it sports a 27 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes), while audiences only awarded it a B CinemaScore, a poor grade considering most superhero tentpoles have received some variation of an A grade.
But says comScore’s Paul Dergarabedian: “In what world is $862 million not a hit? Despite tepid reviews and mixed audience response, the power of the brand and the novelty of the two iconic super heroes going 'mano a mano’ has delivered an unqualified global success. From a box-office perspective this is a blockbuster hit no matter you slice it.
"Now if you want to talk about the emotional enmity and critical lack of enthusiasm for the film, that’s a separate and distinctive argument,” Dergarabedian continued. “However that’s not relevant to box-office-centric perspective that says this movie is a hit.”
BvS was originally supposed to open May 6, but relocated to the Easter corridor when it was revealed that Captain America: Civil War would open on the first weekend in May.
Watch the ‘Batman v Superman’ cast try out the Batman voice: