Culture

Mixed Reviews Won't Put a Dent in 'Batman v Superman'

As the lights come up on press screenings, reviews have started pouring in of this weekend’s hotly anticipated Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The reaction is mixed, with many critics faulting the film for repeating the sins of director Zach Synder’s last superhero pic, Man of Steel. From Variety:

Eric Kohn of Indiewire echoes some of [Variety’s Andrew] Barker’s points by calling this messy and “cacophonous” showdown “basically one long teaser for the next installment.” Kohn also pointed out that while the film “doesn’t lack for inspired visuals” because “it’s filled with motion-heavy sequences rich in light and color,” a good deal of the story “reeks of the usual routine.”

Man of Steel overcompensated for past Superman films which had failed to deliver on the character’s action potential. The third act had so many buildings collapsing and faceless denizens dying that it lost any emotional impact. If critics are to be believed, Batman v Superman likewise fails to take a breath.

But none of that is likely to stop fans from lining up to see the film. Variety continues:

The film is projected to surpass $300 million worldwide when it bows this weekend.

“This is basically their ‘Avengers,’” said Jeff Bock, a box office analyst with Exhibitor Relations. “There’s a ton of buzz about it. They need to open bigger than any DC Comics film ever has.”

Fandango reported that it is the fastest-selling superhero film in the ticketer’s history, beating out “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” at the same point in the sales cycle.

There’s just no way you don’t see this movie, regardless of how good or bad it is. It’s Batman fighting Superman. You go. But quality could affect repeat viewing and word-of-mouth, which drives performance in subsequent weekends. The film’s overall commercial success will become a bellwether signaling how aggressively Warner Brothers will pursue its plans for an expanded DC Comics cinematic universe.