Holy box office defeatism, Batman!
Why do the studios consider the $47 million earned thisweekend by Batman Begins a disappointment? Sure, the movie didn’t earn as muchas Mr. & Mrs. Smith did a week ago, or even as much as Val Kilmer’s BatmanForever earned a decade ago, but $47 million isn’t chopped liver. It’sespecially good for a relaunch of a long-dormant franchise starring anon-marquee-name actor. (Plus, am I the only one who felt the first half ofBatman Begins dragged? It’ll be interesting to see whateffect the word-of-mouth has on the adolescent male audience that is supposed to be the target for comic book movies.) More to thepoint, the studios seem depressed that Batman didn’t arrest the 2005 boxoffice slump. But everyone seems to forget that last year, a littleforeign-language movie called The Passion of the Christ, which brought an audience that doesn’t usually go to the movies into multiplexes. If anything, that makes 2004 the fluke, not 2005.