Robert Pattinson’s The Batman is a bona fide hit at the box office, where it topped its second weekend with $66 million from 4,417 theaters for a 10-day domestic total of $238.5 million.
Outside of Spider-Man: No Way Home — which has earned nearly $800 million domestically — that’s already the best showing of the pandemic era at the North American box office.
Batman fell around 50 percent, a relatively slim decline for a big event pic. It didn’t hurt that there were no new wide studio releases over the weekend. Originally, Pixar and Disney were set to open Turning Red on March 11, but in early January announced that the animated film would bypass theaters and go straight to Disney+ in those countries with access to the streamer.
Overseas this weekend, Turning Red opened in 12 material markets where Disney+ isn’t offered. The movie grossed $3.8 million, led by Saudi Arabia.
The Batman topped the chart internationally with another $66.6 million from 76 markets for a foreign tally of $224.7 million and $463.2 million globally. And that’s without China, where it opens later this week. Imax is racking up huge numbers, or a global total of $38.7 million.
The superhero pic, costing $200 million to produce before marketing, is a major (and needed win) for Warner Bros. and DC. And the timing is fortuitous, as Warners is on the brink of having a new owner, Discovery.
Directed by Matt Reeves, The Batman’s performance is all the more impressive considering it runs nearly three hours and is on the darker side. The PG-13 film centers on Bruce Wayne’s earlier days of fighting crime and features a rogues’ gallery of Batman antagonists. Paul Dano plays the Riddler, a serial killer pursued by Batman, while Zoë Kravitz plays Catwoman and Colin Farrell appears as the Penguin.
The Batman has been well received by critics and earned an A- CinemaScore from audiences, as well as strong PostTrack exit scores.
Sony’s Uncharted stayed high up on the chart in its fourth weekend, earning $9.3 million from 3,725 locations for a domestic tally of $113.4 million. And it grossed another $11.2 million overseas from 64 markets to clear the $300 mark and finish Sunday with a worldwide cume of $301.3 million.
Although there were no new nationwide releases, two live-event showings of Korean boy band BTS’ concert in Seoul on Saturday (March 12) did big business. BTS Permission to Dance on Stage: Seoul earned $6.9 million in North America to become the top-grossing live cinema event of all time, where Trafalgar Releasing booked the concert in 800 theaters.
And globally, its box tally is a stunning $32.6 million (that number could grow once final numbers are tallied).
The concert film, which was tape delayed in the U.S. and other markets, even beat The Batman in 55 theaters in North America and was a clear No. 2 in the rest of its locations. Top markets included Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver and Salt Lake City.
Live-event cinema is on the rise — Imax is a major player on this front — as exhibitors and distributors look for ways to lure moviegoers. Also, theaters can chart more for such events, with tickets for BTS costing as high as $35. (The Metropolitan Opera has been beaming Saturday performances of some operas into cinemas for years in what’s become a highly successful program.)
EntTelligence reports that the average ticket price for Permission to Dance was $35.14. The cost of the Metropolitan Opera’s live broadcast of Ariadne Auf Naxos was $25.45.
MGM and United Artists’ feel-good movie Dog, starring Channing Tatum, came in No. 4, falling just 13 percent to $5.3 million from 3,407 theaters for a domestic total of $47.8 million.
Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home — released in mid-December — rounded out the top 5 with $4.1 million from 2,450 to finish the weekend with a domestic cume of $792.3 million. It’s virtually guaranteed to eventually become only the third film in history to cross the $800 million threshold domestically behind Avengers: Endgame ($858.4 million) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($936.7 million).
Spidey’s worldwide haul is $1.87 billion, the sixth-best showing of all time, not adjusted for inflation.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.