How Does The Batman's Opening Weekend Compare To Other Superhero Movies?

It seems the world was, in fact, eager for yet another iteration of the Dark Knight. Matt Reeves' "The Batman" actually exceeded the original estimates with its three-day-debut at the box office, with Variety reporting the film brought in $134 million from theaters in North America (up from the $128.5 million initially projected) and $120 million from 74 international markets, putting its global total at $254 million.

"The Batman" would have easily claimed the best U.S. opening weekend for a superhero movie in the pandemic era had it not been for the massive success of "Spider-Man: Far From Home." The Marvel Cinematic Universe film nearly doubled the launch for Reeves' movie, debuting with $260 million back in December 2021. EntTelligence (via Deadline) also reports that roughly 20 million people saw "No Way Home" in North America during its first weekend of release versus 9.5 million for "The Batman" (though the final stats indicate that number is closer to 10 million).

Of course, it's no mystery as to why "The Batman" fell well short of Spidey's debut. Not only is that movie 28 minutes longer than "No Way Home" (which meant fewer daily showtimes), the latter marked the culmination of the MCU's "Spider-Man" trilogy starring Tom Holland as Peter Parker. Throw in some fan-favorite heroes and villains from Sony's other "Spider-Man" movies, and you have a true cinematic "event," as opposed to a brand-new, standalone take on a superhero who's been played by three different actors on the big screen in the last 10 years alone.

Batman vs. Batman and other superheroes at the box office

Coming in third for pandemic-era North American superhero movie theatrical openings so far (via Box Office Mojo) is Sony's "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" with $90 million. After that comes "Black Widow" in fourth place with $80.4 million, followed by its fellow MCU movies "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" and "Eternals" in fifth and sixth with $75.4 million and $71.3 million. There's a much bigger drop-off after that, with "The Suicide Squad" holding steady in seventh place with $26.2 million, ahead of "Wonder Woman 1984" in eighth (with $16.7 million) and "The New Mutants" in last place with $7 million.

Keep in mind: It's impossible to make a one-to-one comparison between most of these films and their domestic debuts. "Black Widow" hit Disney+ Premier Access the same day it opened in theaters, which definitely took a sizable bite out of its box office totals. Likewise, "The Suicide Squad" and "WW84" began streaming on HBO Max the same day they debuted theatrically at no extra charge — and that's before getting into other factors related directly to the pandemic, including spikes in variant numbers and the "Wonder Woman" sequel arriving before a vaccine was made widely available.

Comparing "The Batman" and its opening to the many pre-pandemic Batman films is even trickier. Still, it is interesting to note that Reeves' movie readily made more than "Justice League" when it bowed in 2017 ($93.8 million) and wasn't really that far behind the stateside launches for "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" ($166 million), "The Dark Knight Rises" ($160.9 million), and "The Dark Knight" ($158.4 million) on the chart of all-time Bat-openings not adjusted for inflation, all things considered. It seems the world is always game for more of DC's emo crime-fighter, which is good news for Warner Bros. given all the Batman-related or adjacent projects it has on the horizon.

"The Batman" is playing in U.S. theaters.