This Weekend Is The Big Test For Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice!

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Two things happened with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice last weekend: One, It was panned by critics, and two, it made a ton of money at the box office.  For some reason people were surprised that a movie featuring two American icons fighting made money hand over fist even though the critics hated it, but the first movie with Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman was always going to make a lot of cash the era of mega-blockbuster weekends.  The big question is will it continue to make money.

Last weekend industry analysts (I wish I had a job I could be wrong at all the time) said Batman v Superman was going to make a little less than $150 Million, and maybe even less than that due to bad reviews.  The movie went on to make $166 Million.  There are some troubling signs for Warner Brothers/DC however.  The movie made an enormous $82 Million on Friday (including all the Thursday previews), but it dropped all the way to $34 Million on Sunday.  That is the biggest same weekend drop of all time.  Now there are a couple of factors at play here: Thanks to reasonable Thursday preview show-times Friday numbers are getting very inflated.  They need to start counting Thursday as its own day.  Also Sunday was Easter.  Which is a day for being outside hunting eggs, not inside watching hyper-violent superhero flicks.  So analysts aren’t sure if that historic same weekend drop was due to bad word of mouth or reasonable Easter weather.

For mega-blockbusters a second weekend drop of about 60% to 65% is the norm, so if Batman v Superman is truly critic-proof we should see a total of $65 Million to $60 Million this weekend.  A much bigger drop than that Warner Brothers/DC should be concerned about the future of their franchise.  If it takes in more than that Warner Brothers should be very excited since they were able to not only dodge a bullet, but that they were able to truly start competing with Disney/Marvel.

As for me, as much as my review of Batman v Superman was mixed, I kind of hope that it is able to truly shrug of critics and become a massive success.  I think critics often get an overinflated view of themselves.  They feel like they are they are the gatekeepers of entertainment, and that they are the reason movies, books, music or whatever live or die.  When honestly their job is to simply inform the public of their professional opinion and then let the public decide, so sometimes it is great when the public just completely ignores them.  I will say that Batman v Superman has some really great big-screen moments that will just not be quite the same when it comes out on video, so the public may be right in ignoring the critics because some things, good or bad, you just need to see for yourself.

Batman v Superman v Story Structure!

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People were right to worry that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice would struggle because it tried to do too many things.  This movie has so many story threads that instead of having a standard plot it is really a series of vignettes, and some of those vignettes are really good, but not enough of them.  Plus they are all jumbled together so it is hard to follow.

The main plot, as best as I could discern, is that Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) can’t bring himself to trust an alien that destroyed an entire city including his Wayne Financial building, and every small incident involving Superman (Henry Cavill) only makes him angrier.  Meanwhile Lois Lane (Amy Adams) is investigating one of those incidents herself trying to figure out if someone is manipulating the public’s opinion of Superman.  Someone like Lex Luther (Jesse Eisenberg) perhaps?

Anyway that should get you started, I am still trying to sort out the rest.  I mean this movie has three dream sequences.  Three!  So an already confusing movie has random stuff thrown in to boot.  Then they try and shoehorn in the rest of the founding members of the Justice League.  While it is great to see them on screen for the first time, they add nothing to the movie.  Well, with the exception of Wonder Woman played by Gal Gadot.  She is amazing.  Wonder Woman by far is the best part of Batman v Superman.  The movie gets better every time she shows up, which isn’t often.

Ben and Henry did a fine job as Batman and Superman, but really they weren’t given a whole lot to do but snarl at one another.  I mean after filming their faces must have hurt from all the sneering.  They only person that got to smile or show any range of emotion was once again Wonder Woman.  She was so good you guys!  Then that brings us to Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luther.  Again fine, but I am still not sure what Lex’s endgame was.  Not to mention I am pretty sure that Lex was insane which was an odd direction to take for the smartest man on the planet.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice needed to be longer and explain everything better, or be shorter and cut a lot of stuff out.  At its long two and a half hour running time it was a pile of randomness.  There were parts I liked: For instance when we finally got to see Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman all fighting together I was the happiest man alive.  Looking back they should have just bucked up and made the Justice League movie and forgot all about the Batman and the Superman v’ing each other.  That would have been the movie the suits at Warner Brothers obviously wanted, and what the fans wanted too.  Plus we would have gotten more Wonder Woman!