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Box office preview: How big will Batman v Superman be in its second weekend?

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Clay Enos/Warner Bros

No matter what your opinion on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, there’s no denying that it’s a box office juggernaut. Zack Snyder’s long-anticipated superhero showdown shattered records during its opening weekend, and this week, it crossed two major milestones, hitting $201.3 million domestically and $530.4 million worldwide. Any way you look at it, Batman v Superman is a certified hit at the box office — but with scathing reviews and so-so fan response, the biggest question is where will it go from here?

Batman v Superman managed to sidestep negative reviews in its opening weekend, especially because, like most comic book movies, it had a built-in fanbase that was going to see the film on opening weekend, critics be damned. Now that Batman v Superman is entering its second weekend, critical reviews may start to matter more, and lukewarm reception — coupled with a mediocre B CinemaScore — mean that it won’t benefit from positive word-of-mouth to boost its bottom line.

Still, Batman v Superman does have one advantage: It won’t be facing much competition, and the only major release is the faith-based drama God’s Not Dead 2. Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!! is also opening in limited release, and the horror-comedy spoof Meet the Blacks will bow in about 1,000 theaters, though it’s not expected to crack the top five.

Here’s what this weekend’s top five might look like:

1. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice — $66 million

In June 2013, Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel opened to $116.6 million before tumbling about 65 percent in its second weekend. Considering the fact that Man of Steel earned an A- CinemaScore and had considerably better critical reviews, that doesn’t exactly spell good things for week two of Batman v Superman. But part of Man of Steel’s steep drop can be attributed to its second-weekend competition, as it fell to third place behind Monsters University and World War Z. Batman v Superman is facing practically no competition this weekend, which suggests that it should see a gentler drop of about 60 percent.

2. Zootopia — $16 million

It’s been almost a month since Zootopia first hit theaters, and to date, it’s racked up more than $252.7 million domestically and a whopping $718.2 million worldwide. Disney’s animated romp has benefited from kids on spring break and a lack of family-friendly competition, and as Zootopia enters its fifth weekend, expect it to continue its solid run by falling only 35 percent to about $16 million.

3. God’s Not Dead 2 — $11 million

The original God’s Not Dead opened in March 2014, and the faith-based drama earned $9.2 million in its first weekend before going on to gross $60.8 million domestically. The sequel stars Melissa Joan Hart as a schoolteacher who winds up in court after discussing Jesus in her class. Even though the sequel is opening in more than 2,000 locations, and the first film only bowed in 780, God’s Not Dead 2 is expected to earn open only slightly higher than the original, probably somewhere around $10-12 million.

4. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 — $10 million

It may not be able to match the runaway box office success of the first movie, but My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 still opened to a solid $17.9 million last weekend, and its domestic total is now at $23.7 million. The sequel to Nia Vardalos’ 2002 sleeper hit has had success so far as counterprogramming to Batman v Superman. Expect it to hold up well in its second weekend, falling about 45 percent. 

5. Miracles from Heaven — $7 million

Two faith-based dramas are expected to make the top five this weekend, as Miracles from Heaven enters its third weekend. To date, the Jennifer Garner-starring drama has made $38.2 million domestically, and over Easter weekend, it slipped only 35 percent. With an A+ CinemaScore, it should continue to hold up well and add another $7 million or so to its total this weekend. 

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