Box Office: 'Batman v Superman' flies off with massive $27.7 million on Thursday
Warner Bros.' "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" has opened with an impressive $27.7 million in Thursday night preview showings in the U.S.
"Batman v Superman" smashed the record for highest Thursday preshow for an Easter Weekend, set last year by "Furious 7" with $15.8 million. The total includes $3.6 million in Imax shows.
The superhero match-up stars Henry Cavill as Superman and Ben Affleck as Batman. The film carries a whopping $250 million price tag.
"Batman v Superman" is expected to generate as much as $150 million when it hits 4,242 screens domestically, and more than $300 million globally when it rolls out across more than 60 major territories including China, the world's second biggest market for film. The tentpole took flight internationally on Wednesday with $7 million on roughly 5,900 international screens.
See photos from the star-studded "Batman v Superman" premiere:
Disney's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" set the Thursday night preview record on Dec. 17 with $57 million in the U.S. "The Force Awakens" easily beat the previous Thursday-night preview record of $43.5 million by Warner Bros.' "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," set in 2011.
The superhero battle will unspool across 390 Imax screens, 3,600 3D venues, 470 premium large format locations and 150 motion seats. Pre-sales have been robust, with Fandango reporting this week that "Batman v Superman" is the fastest-selling superhero film in the ticketer's history, beating previous record-holders "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Avengers: Age of Ultron" at the same point in the sales cycle.
"Batman v Superman" is aiming at matching the 2012 record set by Jennifer Lawrence's "The Hunger Games" for the best March domestic opening of all time at $152.5 million.
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" set the record for top U.S. opening weekend with $248 million, smashing the mark set in June by "Jurassic World" at $208.8 million.
Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore, noted that "Batman v Superman" has been a dominant aspect of social media for many months for several reasons — the premise of the film itself, the casting of Affleck as Batman, speculation as to the film's overall quality and its ability to deliver on the promise of the marketing campaign.
"'Batman v Superman has much going for it with first and foremost the combination of these two iconic characters on the screen together providing an irresistible starting point for fans," he added. "In addition, a great release date (which gives it basically a month before the next big superhero movie hits theaters), nuggets about some major superhero cameos and just an overall excitement level in the marketplace, will give it a shot at challenging the all-time March opening weekend record."
The weekend's other opening, Universal's counterprogrammer comedy "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2," took in $1.02 million at late night shows Thursday in 2,395 theaters. Showings began at 6 p.m.
The 2002 original was a phenomenon, grossing $368 million at the global box office. The follow-up, which cost $18 million to produce, is looking at a $10 million debut.
See photos from "Batman v Superman":