There’s a lot of uncertainty around the future of theatrical movies these days but one thing still seems like a sure bet: A massive superhero movie featuring a beloved title character and a big-name cast. That’s the formula that turned Spider-Man: No Way Home into one of the biggest movies of all time, and it’s also the formula that turned The Batman into the second-biggest hit of the pandemic behind only that Spider-Man blockbuster.

In its opening weekend, The Batman — a totally new version of the classic DC Comics hero, directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson as an inexperienced Dark Knight — grossed an estimated $128.5 million. That’s the best opening weekend of 2022 so far, and more than the total grosses of all but the nine biggest domestic movies of 2021. It’s also more than double what the last DC movie, James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, grossed in its entire run in theaters.

Of course, The Suicide Squad was released simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max, as all of Warner Bros.’ 2021 movies were. The Batman opened exclusively in theaters and that obviously boosted its ticket sales. The Batman’s CinemaScore was A-, which is higher than either of Zack Snyder’s Batman movies (Batman v Superman got a B+ and Justice League got a B.) That suggests the word of mouth for the movie should be strong moving into its second weekend.

Warner Bros. hasn’t announced a sequel to the movie yet, but they are developing multiple TV shows based on The Batman’s Gotham City for HBO Max, including on about the city’s police department, and another that would star Colin Farrell’s Penguin. This strong opening weekend should only increase the likelihood that those shows will see the light of day — and that we do get to see another big-screen adventure of Robert Pattinson’s Batman.

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