Warner Bros. Downplays Batman V Superman's Big Second-Week Drop

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(Photo: Warner Bros.)

Amid all the chatter that the poorly-reviewed Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice stumbled in its second week at the box office, Warner Bros. has told The Hollywood Reporter that they're not particularly worried about the nearly 70% week-to-week drop.

"We're not concerned with the drop," Warner Bros. domestic distribution chief Jeff Goldstein said. "No matter how you slice it, to get to $52 million on any given weekend is an enormous accomplishment. We’re most focused on where we are in total. And our global number is huge."

He noted that the film has already surpassed the lifetime global take of films like Thor, The Wolverine, Captain America: The First Avenger, and Man of Steel. And while it's mathematically impossible for Batman V Superman see the kind of absurd return on investment that Deadpool has, it's likely that in the next 7-10 days, the superhero slugfest will have unseated that film as the year's highest-grossing comic book movie worldwide.

Warner Bros. is relatively accustomed to big drops; the final Harry Potter movie, the only Warner Bros. film ever to open bigger than Batman V Superman, also had a bigger drop, at 72%, from one week to the next. That film made up much of its money in the international market, where Batman V Superman is unlikely to surprise anybody since it opened in over 60 markets last weekend.

It likely doesn't have the same broad global appeal as the Potter films or even Transformers, although it's still got the lions share of its $680M+ cume from overseas at this point, racking up more than $400 million at the international box office. That's more than any film this year except Disney's fan- and critically-beloved Zootopia.

None of this is to say that Warners is thrilled with the film's performance, of course: it's been widely reported that they had hoped for a $1 billion-plus blockbuster worldwide, and that seems virtually unattainable at this point.

Those expectations were already starting to be managed, though, before the film even hit theaters. At the beginning of March, word was that while Warners wanted $1 billion to be fully satisfied, they would consider the film a success at $800 million. That figure seems reasonably within reach for the studio, even if it will take longer and be a more painful process to reach than they likely hoped.