Not entirely unlike the Trump supporters who support him despite people pointing out his many lies, hypocrisies and prejudices, bad reviews couldn’t stop a movie with a deep fanbase from making money. That movie was “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.” This weekend, the super-belated sequel fought against its 23 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes to make an entirely respectable $18.1 million. That’s low considering the first is the highest grossing rom-com of all time. Still, the A- Cinemascore suggests it might have legs, if not the type that keeps it in theaters for half a year.
Then there was “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
With a comparatively almost respectable 29 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, the superhero fight night pic accrued harsh reviews, which beckoned people to revolt against a movie that a) turned its two good guy vigilantes into psychotic creeps and b) was generally confusing and unpleasant. One review/rant, by Film Freak Central’s Walter Chaw, argued that it was the movie our wretched times deserve, which is to say miserable and filled with a trampling of what “justice” even means in an era of regular terrorism, re-activated bigotry and torture-supporting presidential frontrunners.
But people went en masse anyway. Despite recent fears that Warner Bros. might have a massive Batflop on its hands, “Batman v Superman” did a Wonder Woman lasso around $170 million domestic, with $424 total worldwide. Even better, the only new films it’s competing with next weekend are the evangelical “God’s Not Dead 2” and the Mike Epps vehicle “Meet the Blacks.” Slightly less encouraging for Warner and those who want to see the superhero business stay on top is that its Cinemascore rating was only a B — on par with such notable entries as “Green Lantern” and “Catwoman.” (Wait, “Catwoman” got a B?)
The lessons learned here are, alas, nothing new. Audiences ignore critics when they want to, projecting their own beliefs onto icons that may not deserve the genuflection. Superhero movies are here to stay. No one minds that these films often turn into jumbled, incoherent advertisements for future comic book movies. Zack Snyder knows what America and America-gobbling moviegoers overseas want, so long as he’s not making movies about talking owls or jaw-droppingly weird thingamajigs that are not-so-secretly about the patriarchal oppression of women.