Could this be the end of the Justice League?
There were rumors over the weekend that even though Justice League grossed over $90m, it was considered a flop. Our box office expert, Christopher Campbell, reported that for a movie that cost as much as $300m to make, it will be a tough hill to climb to break even on the monstrous superhero picture. Many films would die for a weekend box office of that measure, but when you’ve got a big superhero team-up movie in place, the box office has to be better than good.
Now comes word that Warner Bros. could lose millions over how poorly Justice League performed over the weekend. Forbes says Justice League is expected to lose money in the range of $50-100 million after taking it the films extensive production budget of $300 million and an additional $150 million in marketing costs. It was also the lowest opening weekend for any of the DC Extended Universe films. It could be that audiences have soured on the entire DCEU (outside of Wonder Woman) or that they are tired of being force fed subpar movies. The reshoots and director switch was highly publicized and informed audiences knew they would be in for a movie that was spliced together like a science project instead of a polished feature. For a movie of that measure that is simply unacceptable.
Recently we laid out the future for the DC Extended Universe beyond Justice League. WB has at least committed to Aquaman and Wonder Woman 2, if only because they have already completed the former and a sequel to the highly successful Wonder Woman makes good business sense. Anything else including a Cyborg solo outing, Green Lantern Corps, and a Justice League sequel have to be really considered. Warner Bros. has invested a ton of money to make their superhero features the equal rivals of Marvel, but these films haven’t reached the quality of the Christopher Nolan Batman features that helped fuel the studio through the 00’s. Any plans WB may or may not have at this point is simply conjecture, but if they are in the business of making a profit they have to start wondering if this is a money pit they are willing to throw their money into. For every Wonder Woman, you have an equally expensive movie that doesn’t hit the mark and causes millions in losses.