If there’s one positive to come out of the dumpster fire that is Batman v Superman, it’s that audiences (or at least non-DC-fan audiences) still seem to be able to recognize an objectively bad movie. Though it had a record opening weekend at the box office, the overall gaudy numbers belie a troubling trend for the Warner Bros. film: a 55 percent drop-off from Friday ($82 million) to Sunday ($37 million). No other superhero movie from the past five years really comes close to that sharp of a decline; second place on the onerous list is currently held by the atrocious 2015 Fantastic Four reboot, which dropped 48 percent over its opening weekend.
So maybe movie reviews still hold water after all. To us, the most likely explanation for Batman v Superman’s numbers is that filmgoers read lambastings like ours, didn’t want to believe that a Zack Snyder-directed superhero flick could suck so badly or had already made up their mind to go, thanks to Warner Bros.’ incessant marketing, saw for themselves that we were right, instantly regretted spending two and a half hours in the theater, and then told their friends not to make the same mistake. At Forbes, Rob Cain has written an interesting analysis of the phenomenon, suggesting that the film’s profitability might now be in danger and that future installments in the D.C. Extended Universe might have to be rethought. In any case, Warner Bros. just might regret its lengthy commitment to Zack Snyder.