NEWS

The Batman celebrates impressive opening weekend

Published on: 8th March 2022

New blockbuster The Batman has seen takings of $128.5m in North America making it the best opening weekend of 2022 by some margin.

The film is only the second pandemic-era movie to exceed US box office takings of $100m in a single weekend, after Spider-Man: No Way Home achieved $260m at launch in December.

Positive reviews, a strong reception from ticket buyers and high anticipation to see the latest incarnation of the Caped Crusader have all addded up to a huge commercial success for Warner Bros. The film’s release is being heralded as the beginning of a post-pandemic blockbuster boom, with UK box office sales forecast to double this year to over £1bn for the first time since 2019.

At the international box office, The Batman earned $120m from 74 overseas markets, taking its global total earnings to $248.5m. This excludes Russia, the world’s 10th-largest market by box office revenues, where Warner Bros. has cancelled the movie’s release following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

“It’s fun to see the public really embrace the movie,” commented Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution at Warner Bros. “Since the movie is three hours long, it became appointment viewing. That bodes well for its run on the big screen. It helps that the word of mouth is so strong.”

“The huge success of Bond and Spider-Man proved that cinema is back, but both did it within Covid when cinemagoing was not considered to be back to normal conditions,” said David Hancock, film analyst at Omdia. “We will be judging Batman as the first ‘post-Covid film’, if you like, on its pure merits. The hesitancy to return to cinema and the rush when fans starved of big new releases were actually able to see one are now not factors. The question for Batman is simply ‘will people like it?’ – and that is how films should be judged.”

The Batman has generated more in its opening weekend than any other Warner Bros. pandemic-era releases grossed in their entire theatrical runs, despite its lengthy running time which means that the number of showtimes per day is limited. However, the lack of high profile competition seems to have worked in the film’s favour.

The Batman has also benefitted from a purely cinematic release. During 2021, Warner Bros. debuted its entire theatrical film slate simultaneously on HBO Max; The Batman marks the first deviation from this strategy in some time.

“In its first theatrical exclusive blockbuster release in more than a year, Warner Bros. proved the power of a theatrical-first approach, and that great execution on a creative launch plan is the best way to drive long-term value,” said Rich Gelfond, CEO of Imax.

The Batman will enjoy a theatrical window of 45 days before becoming available on HBO Max in the US.

 

 

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