‘The Batman’ soars to 2022’s biggest box office debut with $128.5 million

There’s nothing quite like a little bit of vengeance. Matt Reeves’ “The Batman,” the first solo outing featuring the Caped Crusader in a decade, dominated the box office this weekend, earning $128.5M in its domestic theatrical debut.

That impressive total gives “The Batman” the biggest opening weekend of 2022 thus far and trails only “Spider-Man: No Way Home” on the list of top opening weekends during the coronavirus pandemic. “The Batman” is only the second film since December 2019’s “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” to cross $100 million in its opening weekend. Overseas, the superhero epic grossed $120 million from 75 markets, marking its worldwide start at $248.5 million.

The successful launch pays off the bet Warner Bros. has made on this version of the Caped Crusader, which stars Robert Pattinson as Batman, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as The Riddler, and Colin Farrell as Penguin. Reeves and the studio have at least two spinoff shows in the works for HBO Max, including one focused on Farrell’s nascent villain.

“You have to buy into the idea that Batman is like Hamlet. He’s such a rich character. And that the only reason to do it is if you find a different swim lane and a Batman that’s true to the DNA, but is a different interpretation,” Warner Bros. motion picture president Toby Emmerich told The Hollywood Reporter about the film’s success. “From the very beginning, Matt consciously made sure that the character and the story he was telling was different than anyone that had been told before.”

An interesting piece of information to point out is the demographic statistics for “The Batman” moviegoers. More than 65 percent of ticket buyers were male, while more than 60 percent of the audience were between the ages of 18 and 34.

Friday’s $57 million haul for “The Batman” included $21.6 million in Thursday previews and fan screenings in IMAX theaters on Tuesday and Wednesday. The IMAX format alone managed to earn $22.3 million globally, including $12 million in North America.

Although AMC Entertainment was experimenting with increasing “The Batman” ticket sales from anywhere between $1 to $1.50 more, it didn’t seem to detract from anyone who wanted to see the film.

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