Warner Bros.’ “The Batman” has secured $21.6 million in Thursday previews and is on pace for domestic debut north of $100 million.
Matt Reeves’ take on the Dark Knight has earned overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and is one of the most anticipated releases of 2022.
“Thursday previews are often an indicator of what’s to come for a movie’s weekend performance,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “‘The Batman’ is off to a solid start … as die-hard fans rushed out on Thursday to be the first to see the film on the big screen.”
Blockbuster comic book films often see significantly higher Thursday night ticket sales, as fans seek to see the film early on its opening weekend to avoid spoilers. “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” a co-production between Disney and Sony, saw similar fervor in December, generating $50 million from Thursday ticket sales.
The $30 million difference between the two films is likely due to ratings. Marvel’s cinematic universe is known to be a bit more kid-friendly, even as it explores mature themes. The DC adaptation of Batman is much darker and not as suitable for families with younger children.
Still, “The Batman” is expected to fare well over the weekend as it is a film that appeals to the 18 to 35 demographic that has been frequenting theaters more often during the pandemic era.
Franchise-based films, particularly those about comic book characters, have been some of the few to break through and generate significant gains at the box office. The film will also likely benefit from repeat viewings.
Batman has been a staple at the box office since 1989, when director Tim Burton brought the Caped Crusader to the big screen. Over the last three decades, six actors have taken on the dual role of Bruce Wayne and the masked vigilante. These films have collectively generated more than $4.5 billion globally in the last 33 years.
Dergarabedian said the opening results for “The Batman” “should be impressive.”