Regardless of what you think about the quality of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the Zack Snyder film that further established the over-arching DC cinematic universe has become the seventh highest-grossing comic book movie worldwide.
According to box office numbers following Sunday’s earnings, the film has grossed a global cumulative total of $862.9 million sans inflation, though THR notes the film could finish its theatrical run in the $875 million sector. With $325.1 million of that number coming from North American ticket sales, that places it just behind Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 and quite a few million away from his first Spider-Man.
Warner Bros. is openly optimistic about the film’s performance, but box office analyst Jeff Bock told THR:
Still, outside of Christopher Nolan‘s two Dark Knight movies, and Tim Burton‘s Batman films when you adjust for inflation, this is the highest-grossing property in DC’s bullpen thus far. It tops Man of Steel by more than $200 million. So yes, BvS successfully relaunched DC’s cinematic universe, but they are nowhere near Disney/Marvel in terms of critical reception and box office prowess. One can only hope that bigger and better is still on the way.
“Bigger” will come next year with Snyder’s Justice League: Part One, which features Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg. Though, “better” is still a word some fans and critics are hesitant to toss around. Batman v Superman was critically dragged across gravel and, though the film had its defenders, the box office numbers showed a stark decrease in ticket sales in the weeks following its debut. In the U.S., Batman v Superman is the 11th highest-grossing comic book movie, currently behind Guardians of the Galaxy (though it could soon overtake this position) and Spider-Man 3.
Outside of the superhero sphere, family friendly fair, such as Disney’s Zootopia and The Jungle Book, have thrived at the domestic box office. Ahead of Captain America: Civil War — which is already raking in some major dollars and cents overseas — the latter achieved top marks in sales for yet another consecutive week, while word-of-mouth on Zootopia similarly bolstered the title. With $932.5 global earnings to date, Zootopia surpassed Batman v Superman as The Jungle Book (entering its third week in theaters) is already catching up with an international tally of $686.9 million.
If you look at the whole picture, it’s no wonder reports are suggesting behind-the-scenes worry from Warner Bros. on the DC offerings. It’s also difficult to ignore when someone like Seth Grahame-Smith leaves his directing post on The Flash. James Wan just today came out to address rumors of his departure on Aquaman after additional reports claimed reshoots on Suicide Squad were in set to address the tone, something director David Ayer debunked. The latter film is next on the docket followed by Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, so we’ll see if the DCEU is able to bounce back.