Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was released on March 25th to dismal reviews. As of March 30th, BvS is at 29 percent positive reviews on rottentomatoes.com. However, after its weekend ($166 million) and worldwide grosses, the film has already made $468.6 million dollars. Take this into consideration, do you, the reader, take reviews into consideration before you decide to see a movie? I personally follow a handful of critics whose opinions hew close to mine, and I usually agree with them. Unless the review is spoiler-filled, these articles inform my way of thinking. I believe reviews have a place in today’s digital culture, but no longer as a day one event. Rather, they are now conversation starters after the film has come out.
A majority of people decided to go see BvS purely off of their love of DC Comics or superhero films. The true test of what reviews effect will be the continuing box office success of this movie. If people read reviews of BvS, attendance should drop off significantly. Even if people stop going in droves, Dawn of Justice has already landed among the top 30 comic book movies of all time, surpassing Thor, X-Men: First Class, and its predecessor Man of Steel. Man of Steel, for comparison, is at 56% positive reviews on rottentomatoes.com, and had its worldwide grosses peak at $668 million, with an opening weekend at $116 million. While BvS is generally considered to be a worse film than MoS, it is still making money hand over fist. Will this trend continue with other franchise films like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Captain America: Civil War, and X-Men: Apocalypse? Will audiences be discerning with their dollars or continue to throw money at big name movies by established studios? Do reviews not matter to tent pole films, but they do for smaller independent films that don’t have wide releases?
What do you think? Are you reading reviews before seeing television and movies or do you attend regardless, to be a part of the conversation that surrounds it on social media? Let me know in the comments and help me learn. (Full disclosure: I saw BvS after reading terrible reviews out of morbid curiosity, and will see Captain America: Civil War regardless of reviews, but Marvel movies haven’t disappointed me yet.)
Image courtesy of Warner Brothers