Following the box office explosion from Deadpool, comic book fans, box office analysts, and studio heads are eager to see how Warner Bros. and DC Comics perform with their biggest entry to the super hero genre, Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Analysts and executives are currently projecting the film to debut in the $100-$140 million range in its opening weekend. Not only is that a huge range but also consider the fact that many analysts projected Deadpool to take in $70 million in its Valentine's Day weekend opening but it actually hauled more than double the late estimates.
The record for an opening weekend in March is currently held by The Hunger Games with $152.2 million, followed by Alice in Wonderland at $116.1 million.
Batman v. Superman opens over Easter weekend, on Good Friday, in fact. Many school will be closed for the day, opening up additional hours for younger audiences to go watch the super hero showdown, however the recent news of a R-rated release coming to blu-ray could sway some parents in a direction other than theaters with the dark approach DC Comics films are taking cinematically.
The strongest opening weekend for a DC Comics property was The Dark Knight Rises with $160 million and a July opening, narrowly edging The Dark Knight's $158 million. By comparison to other super hero films, the top spots are held comfortably by The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron at $207 million and $191 million, respectively, while other Marvel properties Iron Man 3, Spider-Man 3, an Guardians of the Galaxy all claim spots in the top 10 with $174 million, $151 million, and $91 million in their respective opening weekends.
Deadpool, the only comic book movie of the year so far, reached an audience outside of the typical super hero genre fans and used a brilliant viral marketing campaign for a $132 million 3-day total.
Will Batman v. Superman top Deadpool's impressive figures? Probably. It wisely has two of the most well-known names in comics (or anywhere) in its title and features a live-action Wonder Woman for the first time in years. In addition to wanting to see the heroes fight and eventually come together on the big screen for the first time in history, fans will flock out of curiosity over Ben Affleck's portrayal of Batman, alone.
The most recent DC Comics film and predecessor to Batman v. Superman's story, Man of Steel, opened to $117 million.
Warner Bros. has not commented on the estimates.