Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice held on to the number one spot at the box office this weekend, but it sure wasn’t pretty. Zack Snyder’s superhero showdown took a jaw-dropping tumble and if any other studio had decided to release a major film this weekend, it probably would have sunk to second place. This film is already proving to be a fascinating case study in marketing versus word of mouth: one earns you an opening weekend while the other gives you legs.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice $52,385,000 (-68.4) $12,309 $261,547,00
2 Zootopia $20,000,000 (-16.7) $5,408 $275,939,000
3 My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 $11,130,000 (-37.7) $3,501 $36,493,000
4 God’s Not Dead 2 $8,104,321 $3,350 $8,104,321
5 Miracles From Heaven $7,540,000 (-22.1)
$2,393 $46,822,000
6 Allegiant $7,550,000 (-39.3) $1,897 $56,384,797
7 10 Cloverfield Lane $4,750,000 (-20.0)) $1,892 $63,563,000
8 Meet the Blacks $4,086,000 $4,026 $4,086,000
9 Eye in the Sky $4,055,000 (+334.9) $3,941 $6,149,000
10 Deadpool $3,500,000 (-28.5) $1,778 $355,108,000

 

Batman v Superman fell 68.4 percent in its second weekend, grossing $52 million for a current total of $261 million. Although the film will hit $300 million, it’s going to be a struggle from here on out. A drop that large is indicative of one thing and one thing only: poor word of mouth. Simply put, audiences aren’t encouraging their friends and families to go see this thing and the buzz floating around normal folks is that all of those awful reviews were mostly correct. At least that’s the narrative — whether you personally enjoy the film or not has nothing to do with it. Still, the normal folks have spoken. They were excited enough about this movie to venture out in enormous numbers at first, but everyone was underwhelmed enough for this to happen. The film will still be a hit (and it may still break a billion worldwide out of sheer force), but Warner Bros. has a problem if audiences aren’t thoroughly pumped for more movies set in the new DC cinematic universe.

An interesting contrast would be Zootopia, which held strong in second place with $20 million after dropping a minuscule 16 percent. Sure, Disney’s critically acclaimed animated film probably won’t match the final haul of Batman v Superman, but it’ll hit $300 million soon enough after a month of small dips in its box office. The initial hype wasn’t as strong, but audiences enjoyed the movie and told their friends (and probably went a second time when parents learned that the movie starring the two superheroes was too intense for their kids). Batman v Superman is a hit with an asterisk, but Zootopia is a bonafide smash.

Also relatively strong was My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, which fell a fairly normal 37 percent for an $11 million gross and a $36 million total. This film was never going to be a sleeper hit like its predecessor, but it’ll make a profitable, respectable amount of money and everyone will go home happy.

That brings us to the first of the weekend’s two new releases. God’s Not Dead 2 played to its base (faith-based crowds) and made a decent $8 million, about $1 million less than the first film made in its opening weekend. However, that first film grew legs and ultimately grossed $60 million. This one could follow a similar path, even if Miracles From Heaven (which took a tiny drop and fell to fifth place) is currently keeping this same audience occupied. In eighth place, Meet the Blacks was just happy to be there with $4 million. It’ll be out of the top 10 by next week.

As for the rest of the top 10: 10 Cloverfield Lane is still a sizable hit compared to its production budget, Allegiant is still one of the year’s most surprising financial disappointments, Eye in the Sky made a decent showing as it expanded from limited release, and Deadpool looks ready to exit the top 10 on the cusp of $360 million. At this rate, it may make more money than Batman v Superman, and nobody saw that coming.