Batman and Superman beat fox and rabbit to bag $233m
TWO iconic superheroes zapped the opposition as Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice leapt to the top of the North American box office in its opening weekend with US$170.1 million (S$233 million), industry estimates showed on Sunday.
That mammoth haul made it the best March launch and the sixth-biggest domestic opening weekend of all time, industry journal Variety said.
Starring Ben Affleck as Batman and Henry Cavill in the role of Superman, the characters' first big-screen pairing sets up the coming Justice League and Wonder Woman movies.
The cast for the Warner Bros blockbuster also features former Miss Israel Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jesse Eisenberg as villain Lex Luthor and Amy Adams as Superman's love interest, Lois Lane.
The movie had been eagerly anticipated among the legion of fans of the superhero genre and they poured into cinemas for the Easter weekend, according to estimates from industry tracker Exhibitor Relations.
The initial success of Batman V Superman, which comes despite some decidedly negative reviews, easily relegated animated Disney film Zootopia into second at the box-office.
The latter movie, about an intrepid rabbit police officer who works with a fox to solve a crime in the titular animal kingdom, pulled in US$23.1 million from Friday to Sunday for a total of US$240.5 million in its four weeks at cinemas.
Third was another new entry, comedy sequel My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, with US$18.1 million on its debut weekend.
Looking to build on the success of the original film in 2002, the follow-up brings the Portokalos family back for an even bigger wedding.