Warner Bros’ complete return to the theatrical window, sans HBO Max day-and-date, is proving to be a lucrative feat. Since debuting with previews Tuesday night, the Matt Reeves-directed The Batman has racked up $21.6 million. Between special one-showtime-only previews, largely Imax, on Tuesday and Wednesday, The Batman rank up $4Mwhich means Thursday shows after 3pm did $17.6M. Batman was booked in about 3,300 theaters for previews, and its theater count rises to 4,217 today.
The Batman‘s Thursday previews are ahead of such DC fare as Justice League ($13M) and wonder woman ($11M), but below The Dark Knight ($18.5M), The Dark Knight Rises ($30.6M) and Batman v. Superman ($27.7M). Still, The Batman is in healthy box office territory and comes at such a great, pivotal time for theaters: It’s largely been a year since the New York City and Los Angeles markets were able to reopen; LA just announced it’ lifting the indoor mask mandate for vaccinated and unvaccinated, while New York City will rescind its indoor mask policy Monday. NRG reported earlier this week that those moviegoers who are “very or somewhat comfortable” attending the cinema reached 80%, just a point shy of the all-time high set back on July 11, 2021 (81%).
I hear that Warner Bros as of Thursday had $50M in presales heading into the weekend for the Robert Pattinson-starring DC movie, and it’s not front-loaded, with strong ticket sales expected Saturday, not just today. Tuesday Imax-only previews were sold out. Warners did the Tuesday and Wednesday previews to generate heat as it believed in the movie, letting fans be the first to see it.
Where does this leave Batman? Batman v. Superman, released a week before Easter weekend in 2016, saw Thursday previews repping 34% of its first-day Friday of $81.55M, which translated into a $166M opening. The Dark Knight‘s Thursday repped 28% of its $67.1M first day and that movie turned in a three-day total of $158.4M. So we could be looking at a first Friday for Batman of at least $60M.
Reeves’ near-three-hour movie isn’t putting anybody to sleep: PostTrak Thursday night polls show 4 1/2 stars, 88% positive and a massive 73% definite recommend. Men over 25 led the charge at 42% giving The Batman a 86% grade, men under 25 loved it at 90% positive, women over 25 turned out at 17% with an 85% grade while women under 25 repped 14% of the crowd with a 95% grade. Overall, The Batman‘s previews are built on the 18-34 demo, the foundation of the moviegoing business, which showed up at 68%. Those over 45 repped 11% of the crowd, while those over 35 showed up at 25%. PostTrak polls saw close to half the audience watching The Batman in a regular theater, while 24% were in Imax, and 23% in a PLF auditorium. Seventy-six percent of the audience bought tickets online, versus 24% at the theater.
Twenty percent bought tickets to The Batman a week ago, 23% within the last week, 16% the day before they saw the pic, while 40% bought tickets on the day they watched the movie.
Among regular movies in play Thursday, Sony’s Uncharted led with $1.09M at 4,275 theaters, ending its second week with $29.1M and a running total of $89.2M. MGM/UAR’s dog saw $640K on Thursday, with a second week of $13.2M and a running total of $33.9M.