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In One Chart: ‘The Batman’ at the box office: Which Dark Knight movie had the best opening weekend?

Holy box office gold, Batman!

The latest movie featuring DC Comics’ Dark Knight scored the biggest opening weekend of 2022 so far, nabbing $134 million in North America. That’s 4% higher than Sunday’s $128.5 million estimate, Variety noted, and makes it only the second pandemic flick to take in more than $100 million over a single weekend. The other: Marvel’s “Spider-Man: No Way Home” from rival Disney
which made $260 million in North America when it swung into theaters in December 2021. 

What’s more, “The Batman” from AT&T’s

Warner Bros. studios earned $120 million worldwide, bringing its global total to $254 million over the weekend. And that figure was ticking up closer to $260 million as updated overseas ticket sales came through on Monday.

The Caped Crusader is no stranger to blockbuster ticket sales, of course. Ever since the now 80-year-old comic book icon was brought to the big screen in 1989’s “Batman” directed by Tim Burton, and starring Michael Keaton as billionaire Bruce Wayne/Batman, the franchise has made more than $4.5 billion at the global box office over the past three decades

“Twilight” star Robert Pattinson suits up as “The Batman” this time around, starring alongside Zoë Kravitz as frenemy-with-benefits Catwoman, Jeffrey Wright as police lieutenant James Gordon and Paul Dano as enigmatic villain The Riddler. “The Batman” held an 85% “fresh” rating from movie critics on Rotten Tomatoes as of Monday afternoon, with audiences giving it a roughly 90% approval rating. 

This chart tracks how each Batman film has performed at the box office, as well as what the various actors who have donned the Dark Knight’s cowl were reportedly paid for the privilege. 

MarketWatch graphic

The Bat has certainly had his share of reboots.

The late 80s-early 90s run saw Burton and Keaton return for “Batman Returns” in 1992, before Val Kilmer took the mantle in 1995’s “Batman Forever” directed by Joel Schumacher, and George Clooney (and … sigh … the Bat-nipples and Bat-credit card) starred in 1997’s “Batman & Robin,” which was also directed by Schumacher. 

That last movie was largely panned by critics and fans, alike, and Batman took a hiatus from the big screen for almost a decade. Then director Christopher Nolan and actor Christian Bale brought him back in 2005’s “Batman Begins.” That was followed by 2008’s critically acclaimed “The Dark Knight,” where the late Heath Ledger won a posthumous Oscar for his portrayal of Batman’s arch nemesis, The Joker. That trilogy wrapped with “The Dark Knight Rises” in 2012.

Since then, Ben Affleck has played a more grizzled version of Gotham’s vigilante in 2016’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” along with 2016’s “Suicide Squad” and 2017’s “Justice League.” Affleck will also reprise his take on Batman in the upcoming “The Flash” film scheduled for November. But unlike the other Batman actors on this list, he has not helmed his own film.

Which brings us to Pattinson and “The Batman” directed by Matt Reeves. While Warner Bros. has not officially announced a sequel, the film’s producer told that he expects a follow-up film to come out in “less than five years.” 

Looking at “Batman’s” box office track record, it’s a safe bet that the next movie will probably find an audience. 

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