Warner Bros. hasn't had the best time during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its comic book film adaptations, in particular, haven't done well. Save perhaps for 2020's Birds of Prey, which premiered during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and before the massive lockdowns, no film made back its production budgets. The Batman has officially changed that.
The pressure was always on The Batman to set the tone for the rest of the DC Comics set to be released later this year. It's safe to say that the Robert Pattinson-led film has delivered.
After opening to positive reviews from film critics, The Batman recouped the production budget during its first weekend of screening. One more weekend later and the crime epic has made more than $500 million at the global box office with its China premiere expected to put the film one step closer to crossing the billion-dollar mark.
At the time of writing, The Batman's $510 million vaults it past Godzilla vs. Kong ($468 million) as Warner Bros.'s most successful film in years.
While the half-billion-mark is still a monumental achievement for Matt Reeves' debut comic book film, some still can't help but compare its numbers to Christopher Nolan's films. Both 2008's The Dark Knight and 2012's The Dark Knight Rises made over $1 billion at the global box office each, numbers that The Batman might not even come close to.
Then again, who knows? The film will continue screening in theaters all over the globe for the next couple of weeks. Not to mention, China is the second-biggest market in the world, so The Batman stands to make a lot of money in the region. Of course, this is assuming that a spike in COVID-19 cases in China doesn't sour its premiere in local theaters.
The good news here is that The Batman isn't going to face heavy competition until Morbius hits theaters on April 1. Even then, the lengthy delay could still give the dark knight's soft reboot an edge over the living vampire's cinematic debut.
Regardless of where The Batman ends up on the global box office charts by the end of its theatric run, Matt Reeves will have the keys to a new cinematic franchise. The success of The Batman paves the way for multiple spin-offs and sequels set in the same universe. An HBO Max series starring Colin Farell's penguin is already in development and Reeves just talked about an Arkham Asylum show.
Given how unsure the fate of the DCEU remains - Warner Bros. just delayed its upcoming slate of DCEU films by a couple of months - it's smart to invest in a separate franchise that's different from anything else on the market right now.