In its opening weekend, THE BATMAN soared to the top of the North American box office. Lift-off began with a very strong showing at Thursday night’s special preview screenings, drawing $21.6M in ticket sales. And the good news kept coming all weekend, winding up with a total gross of $128.5m for the weekend. This is the fourth-best BATMAN opening of all time, trailing only BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (2016) at $166M, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (2012) at $161M, and THE DARK KNIGHT(2008) at $158M.
To give a pandemic perspective, it is the second-highest opening of any feature in the COVID era, which crashed the party two years ago and shut down the industry. Only SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME’s $260M surpasses this weekend’s result. THE BATMAN easily out-performed SHANG CHI: LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS, which earned $76M over 3 days and $95M over 4 days of Labor Day weekend 2021.
In addition to THE BATMAN’s huge opening, the next three titles also did their part, supporting the overall strength of the weekend. Finishing second, third, and fourth respectively were UNCHARTED, DOG, and SPIDERMAN NO WAY HOME, grossing $11M, $6M, and $4.4 with week over week drops of 52%, 41%, and 24% respectively.
The sum total of grosses for all titles this weekend added up to $160M. This is 137% of the result from the same weekend in 2019 which is the first time since the pandemic began that the total box office for a weekend bested the total box office for the same weekend in 2019. This is a true milestone, pointing to the loosening hold that COVID has on the industry.
There are no new wide-opening films next weekend, with studio execs having concluded that THE BATMAN would not leave enough breathing room for any other title to be successful. This week’s favorable comparison to 2019 will not be repeated, since three years ago Disney released CAPTAIN MARVEL in the same film week, which landed a whopping $153M in its first three days.