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Saturday, December 10, 2022

‘The Batman’ soars higher at domestic box office with $134 million opening

'The Batman' soars higher at domestic box office with $134 million opening

“The Batman” landed a bigger opening weekend than Warner Bros., the studio behind the initially expected comic book adventure.

The latest superhero epic starring Robert Pattinson as the extraordinarily moody caped crusader collected $134 million in North American theaters over the weekend, exceeding Sunday’s estimate of $128.5 million.

Those ticket sales rank as the best start of 2022, as well as only the second pandemic-era film after “Spider-Man: No Way Home” to cross the $100 million mark in a single weekend.

The reason behind a 4% jump in Monday’s final numbers is that “The Batman” turned out better than expected on Sunday, raising $34.1 million. That’s more than a few pandemic-era releases that managed to earn money throughout its theatrical run. The film grossed $57 million on Friday — which includes Tuesday and Wednesday fan shows — and added another $43.2 million on Saturday. Without much competition, “The Batman” should continue to soar high on the domestic box office charts until Sony’s own comic book adaptation “Morbius” hits theaters on April 1.

Internationally, “The Batman” captured $120 million from the 74 overseas market, bringing its global tally to $254 million.

Already, “The Batman” with a $200 million budget is shaping up to be a commercial winner for Warner Bros. That’s partly because “The Batman” marks the return of special theatrical releases for Warner Bros., which rolled out its entire 2021 slate of simultaneous releases. HBO Max. Going forward, Warner Bros. has announced plans to keep its films in theaters for 45 days before putting their new titles on HBO Max.

“The Batman” also benefited because tickets at AMC theaters and other major chains cost $1 to $2 more than other movies running at the same time. The move, a surprising break from industry tradition, is an attempt to offset stagnant attendance levels for theater operators as they try to carve their way out of the pandemic-related debris.

“It’s all pretty novel in the United States, but really, AMC has been doing this in our European theaters for years,” AMC CEO Adam Aron said during the company’s recent earnings call. “In fact, in Europe, we charge a premium for the best seats in the house, as do just about all other ticket vendors in other industries – think sporting events, concerts and live theater, for example.”

Directed by Matt Reeves, PG-13 “The Batman” — which clocks in at taxing three hours — traces Bruce Wayne’s earlier days as “the world’s greatest detective.” In his quest for justice, the young Dark Knight uncovers corruption in Gotham City, while pursuing a crazed killer known as the Riddler (Paul Dano). The star-studded cast includes Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Andy Serkis as Batman’s butler Alfred Pennyworth, crime-lord Colin Farrell as Penguin, and Jeffrey Wright as Gotham City police chief James Gordon. Huh. The film has been adopted by critics (it holds an 85% stake on Rotten Tomatoes), as well as audiences (it landed an “A-” on CinemaScore).

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