Batman V Superman‘s box office struggles continue with the news that, in its third weekend, the film that was supposed to be a $1 billion-plus super-hit for DC and Warner Bros. couldn’t even beat a poorly-rated Melissa McCarthy comedy.
The funny lady’s R-rated The Boss should not have taken top honors with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice so early in its run.
For starters, R-rated movies consistently underperform when compared to PG-13 films, especially films that have popular superhero characters in the lead(s).
Add to that the fact that McCarthy’s comedy received a critical consensus of only 18 percent from the critic aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes — even lower than the 29 percent that BvS received — and the strength of DC’s iconic characters should have been enough to take it to a third consecutive No. 1 weekend in the face of light competition.
Of course, this isn’t the only sign of Batman V Superman box office failure. There is also the steep drop — among the largest in history — that the film had in its second weekend after getting roasted by critics and seeing its RT fan-based rating drop from 98 percent anticipation to 70 percent approval, meaning that most people who actually saw the film deemed it no better than a C-.
In fact, on the CinemaScore website, the film’s final rating was exactly the same as the notoriously maligned Catwoman film with Halle Berry and the panned Green Lantern with Ryan Reynolds.
As if that wasn’t enough piling on, the Ben Affleck Daredevil movie from several years ago scored higher on RT by a full 15 percentage points with critics.
The biggest indication, however, of Batman V Superman box office failure is in its likely final tally.
Marvel, DC’s rival superhero universe, has consistently made profitable films, even with lesser-known characters, including Fox’s obscure-to-most-general-audiences Deadpool, which cost $58 million to make and has recently crossed the $758 million mark worldwide.
By comparison, a live-action film that placed the two most iconic superheroes of all time on-screen together for the first time in movie history should have smashed a film like Deadpool, which was Rated R, no less. While Batman V Superman box office tallies have eclipsed the Marvel-Fox collaboration in full gross, the profitability factor isn’t even close.
Deadpool destroyed the $250 million BvS without question ($250 million without factoring in the DC film’s $150 million in marketing).
HitFix‘s analysis of what the industry analysts are saying — that Batman V Superman box office would have to hit at least $1.5 billion to be considered successful and would now likely top out at $900 million — makes the film an utter disappointment.
It has also caused quite a bit of turmoil on the DC Extended Movie Universe front. Warner is already looking at reducing the number of films that they had planned over the next few years, and they’ve sent Suicide Squad back for extensive reshoots.
While there have been no steps taken yet to remove director Zack Snyder from the upcoming Justice League — Parts One and Two, the 300 and Man of Steel helmer is getting blamed by many fans and critics.
Jason Bailey of Flavorwire points the finger at Snyder, stating that “if a filmmaker attempted to combine everything casual moviegoers don’t like about superhero franchises, they couldn’t come up with a picture as execrable as this one.”
J. Olson of Cinemixtape went even further, calling Snyder’s work a “momentum-less ode to uncreative people everywhere that torches two of pop culture’s greatest characters and uses their ashes as its own personal urinal cake.”
But what do you think, readers?
Is the Batman V Superman box office decline an indication that this film franchise has failed? Sound off in the comments section below!
[Image via Batman V Superman screen grab]