The Batman continues to be a blockbuster juggernaut. Having made over $750 million at the worldwide box office, Robert Pattinson's Bruce Wayne is now dominating his streaming home. Deadline published a report on The Batman's first-week viewership numbers on HBO Max for Smart TVs in United States households, and they are very impressive.
Using data provided by television-analytics firm Samba TV, the trade revealed that the film, at 4.1 million views, beat out almost every other day-and-date release by Warner Bros. Discovery from 2021, such as The Suicide Squad (3.5 million), Wonder Woman 1984 (3.2 million), The Matrix Resurrections (3.2 million) and Dune (2.3 million).
Matt Reeves' superhero adventure also had a larger audience than Zack Snyder's Justice League, which had a viewership of 2.2 million during its first seven days. The one film The Batman did not beat was 2020's Mortal Kombat, which was watched by 4.3 million households in week one.
Keep in mind that the numbers above are specifically for first-week views. At the moment, there's no opening-weekend data available for The Batman, but to put viewership growth from opening weekend to first week into perspective, here are the reported opening-weekend numbers for some of the aforementioned 2021 WB tentpoles, as stated by Samba TV on Twitter and on data given to Variety:
- The Suicide Squad: 2.8 million.
- Wonder Woman 1984: 2.2. million.
- Dune: 1.9 million.
- Zack Snyder's Justice League: 1.8 million.
Getting more granular, Samba TV reported that The Batman had 720,000 households tune into its HBO Max premiere, compared to the 389,000 thousand that streamed Zack Snyder's Justice League on its release day.
It's worth noting that, since HBO Max's viewership data is not publicly disclosed, there could be a discrepancy between the numbers reported by Samba TV and the movies' actual views. According to Deadline, some streaming services have stated their audiences are larger than what's reported by third parties.
Warner Bros. Discovery famously revealed in late 2021 that, starting in 2022, it would abide by an exclusive 45-day theatrical window for its releases, after which they would make their way to HBO Max.
There had been some speculation online that the strategy would be detrimental to the studio's box-office earnings. While that could be the case, The Batman's reported success could be an indication of WB's shortened-window approach being a sustainable strategy to boost HBO Max viewership in the long run, contingent on other audience-blockbusters garnering a similar amount of success in the coming years.
Whether or not every big-budget project on WB's streaming platform will share the same successful fate as Bruce Wayne's latest film remains to be seen. It's something we'll get a clearer idea of as fellow superhero films like Black Adam (October 21, 2022), Shazam! Fury of the Gods (December 16, 2022) and — perhaps to a lesser extent given that it's animated — DC League of Super-Pets (July 29, 2022) arrive on the streaming service.
As mentioned, The Batman is now available to watch on HBO Max, and to purchase digitally with bonus content.