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Batman v Superman clings to top spot in US

Associated Press Associated Press 4/04/2016

Word of mouth might be kryptonite for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which fell 68 per cent in its second weekend in US cinemas, according to estimates from analytics company comScore .

The superhero pic earned an estimated $US52.4 million ($A68.34 million) over the weekend, easily besting the modest new openers like God's Not Dead 2 and Meet the Blacks.

The Zack Snyder movie cost a reported $US250 million to produce and around $US150 million to market, and has earned an estimated $US261.5 million to date.

It's a critical launching point for a series of interconnected movies in the DC Comics Universe from Warner Bros. that will include this year's Suicide Squad, next year's Wonder Woman and two Justice League movies, which is why its early performance is being so intensely scrutinised.

Superhero movies tend to be frontloaded with fans, and a near 60 per cent fall is not uncommon for major blockbusters in weekend two.

"Sometimes the bigger they are the harder they fall," said Paul Dergarabedian, comScore's senior media analyst. "This is often what happens when you have films that rank in the top 10 debuts of all time."

Snyder's Man of Steel, for instance, fell 64.6 per cent in its second weekend, and even The Dark Knight Rises dropped a hefty 61.4 per cent.

Things aren't terribly different in the Marvel universe either. Disney's Avengers: Age of Ultron tumbled 59.4 per cent and Fox's X-Men: Days of Future Past plunged 64.2 per cent.

Still, 68 per cent is on the steeper side for a second week fall. Last year's much derided Fantastic Four reboot fell 68.2 per cent and the divisive X-Men Origins: Wolverine dropped 69 per cent in 2009.

In weekend one, many wondered whether the poor reviews would kill the film out of the gates, but it ended up earning $US166 million regardless.

"This has been a poster child in illustrating the disconnect between critics and audience," Dergarabedian said.

The second weekend, however, is where word of mouth starts to come into play, and on the fence audiences must decide whether or not it's worth their time and money.

But, the near future still looks promising for Batman v Superman, which has the skies to itself for the next week until Disney's The Jungle Book opens on April 15 in the US.

It's still doing major business internationally too, with $US85.1 million in earnings this weekend, bringing its global total to $US687.9 million.

The weekend overall is down significantly from last year, which saw the massive opening of Furious 7.

Disney's Zootopia held on to second place with a robust $US20 million, bringing its domestic total to $US275.9 million. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 took third in its second week with $US11.1 million.

Rounding out the top five were two faith-based films, Pure Flix's God's Not Dead 2, which opened in fourth with $US8.1 million, and Miracles From Heaven, which took in $US7.6 million in its third weekend, bringing its total to $US46.8 million.

Freestyle Releasing's The Purge parody, Meet the Blacks, meanwhile earned only $US4.1 million for an eighth place debut.

Limited release openings like Richard Linklater's college baseball comedy Everybody Wants Some!! did well bringing in $US323,000 from 19 theatres, while Don Cheadle's Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead launched in four theatres to $US122,751.

1.Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - $US52.4 million

2.Zootopia - $US20 million

3.My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 - $US11.1 million

4.God's Not Dead 2 - $US8.1 million.

5.Miracles From Heaven - $US7.6 million

6.The Divergent Series: Allegiant - $US5.7 million

7.10 Cloverfield Lane - $US4.8 million

8.Meet the Blacks - $US4.1 million.

9.Eye in the Sky - $US4.1 million

10.Deadpool - $US3.5 million

* Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian theatres, according to comScore.

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