Perhaps the biggest riddle the World’s Greatest Detective solved this weekend was how to beat the pandemic box office.
Even with a 3-hour run time, The Batman became only the second movie since the pandemic began two years ago to open to over $100 million domestically. Its total haul over three days stands at $134M, landing in the higher end of what estimates predicted. (UPDATE: That final number is higher than the initial Sunday estimate of $128.5 million.)
The Batman was the first Warner Bros. blockbuster to play in theaters exclusively after a year of all 2021 WB titles having hybrid runs; each movie (including Godzilla vs. Kong, Dune, The Matrix Resurrections, and others) played simultaneously in multiplexes and on streamer HBO Max.
Conventional wisdom suggests that their box office potential was stunted by the hybrid approach, and these numbers for The Batman would tend to support that theory. Even so, the comic book genre reigns supreme as the top attraction for moviegoers.
Including Thursday preview numbers of $21.6 million, The Batman showed strength on all fronts (despite its 3-hour run time) as it outpaced the Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins 2005 reboot launch of $48 million. No doubt the star appeal of Robert Pattinson sure helped here.
Nolan’s subsequent Batman sequels The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises each opened to $158M and $160M respectively, so it’ll be interesting to see if the inevitable sequels to director Matt Reeves‘ gritty, bleak vision will see similar, substantial increases.
The Batman earned an additional $120M overseas to bring its global premiere total to $254 million.
Coming in second place was Tom Holland‘s video game adaptation Uncharted, which had been the reigning champ for two weeks. It added $11 million to its current $89 million in receipts, bringing its domestic total to just over $100 million.
Channing Tatum‘s Dog barked up $6 million for #3 ($40M total) while Spider-Man: No Way Home ($4.4M; $786.4M total) and Kenneth Branagh‘s Death on the Nile ($2.7M; $37.1M total) placed #4 and #5.