If you were to tell me a couple of years ago that the first ever Justice League movie would make $96 million over its first weekend box office I’d call you crazy (making it the lowest box office opening of all the DCEU projects). As big of a DC fan I am and how much I like the film itself I can’t help but agree that this is a somewhat of a disappointment. Is it a total failure as some people are making it out to be? When you compare it to Thor Ragnarok’s numbers which made $122million in its first weekend you could see why some people are calling it that. I’m actually the type of person who doesn’t care at all about box office numbers. When someone says this movie is amazing or bad because it made $10 million or $100 million I usually just tune them out. The only reason why I’m writing this article is because Warner Bros. as a company has a track record of drastically responding to numbers and criticism.
Don’t believe me? let me just give you guys a few examples;
- People hated Dawn of Justice but they loved Ben Affleck’s performance, so they gave him his own Batman film which they would let him write and direct it. (any coincidence that he was taken off the project as both director and writer after the performance of his film ‘Live by Night? )
- Just look at the drastic changes they made to Suicide Squad because of the backlash Dawn of Justice received.
- People hated Suicide Squad but they loved Harley Quinn so they gave her own film with Catwoman and Poison Ivy ‘Gotham City Sirens’. (pretty sure there was also rumours of Deadshot getting his own movie too because of the response Will Smith’s performance)
- The one that frustrated me the most was the response to the criticism of Dawn of Justice’s runtime which left us with a two hour Justice League film.
- Not to mention the countless films that seem to be in the pipeline which have been officially/unofficially announced.
So what does Warner Bros. do next? How do they respond to the poor Box office numbers and criticisms to Justice League?
Look I get that they want to get the critics on their side but apart from Wonder Woman it just hasn’t worked so far. With Justice League it felt like they were appealing to the masses a bit too much rather than just focusing on a film that they wanted to create from the start. I personally feel that people didn’t go out to see Justice League because they were burnt by the previous DCEU films. There wasn’t really an established universe going into this film. Maybe we should of had a solo Flash and Aquaman film prior to Justice League. One could also argue that we are actually suffering from superhero movie fatigue but I’ll leave that topic for another day.
Currently what’s next for the DCEU is Aquaman which is coming out in December 2018. Now Aquaman has just finished shooting, so there’s no doubt in my mind we will see this film next year. I’ve seen some people say why don’t they just move the date up? Given DC only has one project throughout the whole of next year. That would be the worst thing to do, just look at how rushed and incomplete some of the CGI in Justice League was. Aquaman too is a film that will undergo reshoots just like any other Hollywood film so we have to keep that it mind when asking to push up its release date. Plus how many more December’s in the future are we going to have without a Star Wars film being released, it looks like they have the perfect release date for me.
After that we have Shazam which is set for a 2019 release in April which I will definitely be watching. I’m just worried about how the masses are going to respond to this film, do they even know who this character is? How many people will go out and watch it especially after Justice League’s performance? On the surface with this film it does look like they are targeting the hardcore fans but if it underperforms what are the chances we will get a sequel? Marvel on the other hand have put nearly 10 years into building a universe which allows them to create films such as Black Panther, Ant-Man, Captain Marvel which aren’t their staple characters but people will run out to go and see them. The biggest difference to me is Marvel has built trust with their core audience as well as with the masses.
As for right now Warner Bros. need to just stay the course, don’t reboot now. Also take one film at a time, it feels like every month they are announcing a new film. However I’d hope that they are trying everything behind the scenes to get this Batman film up and running. Ultimately what they need figure out first is who are they making these films for? Is it for the critics/mass audience or the core fans? At the end of the day if its for the critics and mass audience it seems to impacting their creative process which leaves both the fans and the critics unsatisfied.
Let me know your thoughts down below?
Am I being too harsh? Should we cut them some slack? Am I out of my depth with this topic?
At the end of the day I just want to see the DCEU thrive
(P.S. I really liked Justice League)