'Batman v Superman' shrugs off bad reviews, opens to $170M

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Sunday, March 27, 2016
In this March 18, 2016 photo, Henry Cavill, left, and Ben Affleck pose for a portrait in Los Angeles to promote their film, "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," opening Friday.
Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP-AP

NEW YORK -- "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" shrugged off lousy reviews to debut with an estimated $170.1 million in North America, the sixth best weekend opening.

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 against skepticism over Ben Affleck's casting as Batman and a barrage of bad reviews earlier in the week.

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.