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Box office hits and misses: The Boss beats Batman V. Superman

It didn’t take long for the reign of much-maligned superhero drama Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice to come to an end. After just two weeks atop the box-office rankings, director Zack Snyder’s angsty, critically panned sequel to Man of Steel was nudged down to second place by The Boss, Melissa McCarthy’s latest comedy.

It’s estimated that The Boss finished just ahead of Batman V. Superman when all the receipts were finally tallied, earning somewhere around $50,000 more than the superhero film to take the top spot for the weekend. Meanwhile, the week-to-week drop for Batman V. Superman was another big one, with the film down 54 percent from the previous weekend.

It’s worth noting that both The Boss and Batman V. Superman have fallen on the wrong side of professional critics’ appraisals in eking out their respective box-office achievements, with Batman V. Superman expected to turn a modest profit for studio Warner Bros. Pictures when all is said and done — though far less than would be expected for a film featuring two of the most popular comic-book characters of all time. Given the relatively low production costs for The Boss, the “R”-rated comedy should have no problem turning a tidy profit for Universal Pictures in spite of poor reviews.

In third place, Disney’s animated feature Zootopia continued to stay strong at theaters, and it looks like it will join Batman V. Superman in crossing the $300 million mark at U.S. theaters next weekend. Deadpool was the first movie to hit that mark this year, and that film is now up to $358.4 million domestically as of this weekend. Only time will tell how far the three films will go, but with some big movies on the way in coming weeks, the clock is ticking.

The only other new release to make it into the top ten films for the weekend was Hardcore Henry, the first-person perspective action movie that promised a fresh spin on the cinematic experience. Neither critics nor general audiences seemed to be won over by seeing the adventure unfold through the eyes of the film’s protagonist, and the film fell short of predictions with just $5.1 million for the weekend. It will likely need a few strong weekends in order to avoid being labeled a failed experiment, so we’ll have to wait and see how word of mouth affects the film.

Interestingly, Star Wars: The Force Awakens managed to add another $369,000 to its U.S. gross over the weekend despite being released to the home-entertainment market a few days earlier. The blockbuster sequel was screened in 346 theaters over the weekend, averaging out to over $1,000 per theater despite the film being available on Blu-ray and digitally. The Force Awakens has now earned $935.5 million in U.S. theaters as the current domestic record holder, and also sits in third place on the all-time worldwide box office rankings behind Avatar and Titanic.

Next weekend features the release of Disney’s live-action remake of The Jungle Book, as well as the comedy sequel Barbershop: The Next Cut, which are both expected to do well. It’s looking increasingly likely that Batman V. Superman continues its slide now that it’s faced with some tougher competition — and a string of even bigger films hitting theaters in the weeks to come.

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