'The Batman' takes its shot at Spider-Man's pandemic box-office records
Move over, Spider-Man: The latest of Warner Bros. (NYSE:T) many - many - Batmen is ready to take a flight at setting cinematic pandemic records.
The Batman - Warner's latest reboot, starring Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader, and featuring Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman - is aiming at a $100 million-plus opening this weekend, perhaps up to $125 million. That would make it only the second pandemic-era film to cross $100 million in a weekend, after December's blockbuster debut of Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Sony (NYSE:SONY) had issued a conservative forecast for a $135 million opening back then, but the spider-film opened with a spectacular $260 million. It's since gathered the third-highest domestic gross of all-time, with $781.6 million (and a total of $1.85 billion worldwide).
Other wide releases had long ago cleared out of The Batman's weekend, and it's opening in 4,300 screens, so the gritty film faces no major roadblocks - and in fact may have some room to run, as the next (relatively low-profile) wide releases don't come for two more weeks, when horror throwback X (A24) and drama Umma (Stage 6) debut.
And helping matters is the end of Warner's 2021 strategy of releasing all its films day-and-date to HBO Max; The Batman is a theatrical exclusive. With new release windows set, it's heading to HBO Max in 45 days.
Still looking to make some bank from leftover crumbs is last weekend's leader, Uncharted (SONY), which scored $23 million in its second week, and Dog (OTC:MGMB), which grabbed another $10.2 million in its own second week.
Also keeping a close eye on the weekend is AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC), which is introducing variable pricing where it charges more for tickets to The Batman than for other films showing at the same complex at the same time. (At some theaters, AMC is seen charging $1 more for The Batman than for Uncharted or Dog, for example.)