America, it seems, loves a good trainwreck as long as it's pretty, and droves of moviegoers turned out to give Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice the sixth best opening weekend ever, and the biggest ever for March, besting even the Hunger Games, reports USA Today. The DC Comics flick shrugged off lousy reviews to debut with an estimated $170.1 million in North America, reports the AP. The stakes were high for the Warner Bros. superhero showdown, which cost $250 million to make and nearly as much to market. But the studio's bid to kick start a DC Comics universe to rival Marvel's empire fought skepticism over Ben Affleck's casting as Batman and a barrage of bad reviews earlier in the week.
"No one cared about the reviews, they didn't matter," says a comScore analyst. "People just wanted to see this movie and this classic match-up between two titans of the superhero universe." Audiences gave the film a mediocre B CinemaScore, which suggested many moviegoers agreed with critics. But the allure of seeing two of the most iconic superheroes battle was enough to set a new record for the best pre-summer debut. (Watch a hilarious video showing Affleck's reaction to the bad reviews.)