Justice League is history and according to experts will finish less than 300 million gross domestically and less than 700 million worldwide. Not good for a movie with heavy reshoots that probably put their budget over 350 million with marketing costs of well over 200 million. The 400 million plus overseas country by country will not return 400 million but far less than that, so you have to say The WB lost money on the theatrical version of the movie. Yes, we still have DVD and Blu-ray release and that may do well but for all intents and purposes, Justice League was a failure.
Whether the movie was a Zack Snyder Directed film with his complete story or changed drastically by the redo of Joss Whedon and the heads of Warner Bros. is a moot point and of no value in the discussion of where DC Films goes from here. If there is a Snyder only version of Justice League perhaps as time passes it may be released to Blu-ray who knows. As with Batman v Superman, when the longer version was released the controversy of which movie should have been the first theatrical version, goes on.
Facts are that the direction of the greater DC Cinematic Universe was wrong from the start. The roots of that beginning must be pulled from the current creation of the DCEU and something else more streamed line should take its place. This is what I think the heads of Warner Bros. are contemplating right now. The people that run DC Films are being replaced namely Jon Berg and Geoff Johns and a new head of DC Films well be named soon. In addition, many of the planned movies were predicated on how well Justice League did showing what direction was needed for the future. Right now the only movie we know for sure will be shown will be Aquaman directed by James Wan, because it is all ready made and in post-production for release December 21, 2018. That gives us a long time to speculate on the future of DC Films.
What are the roots of the DCEU that need to be pulled to take a new direction. First of all, consider the release of Man of Steel which had the smallest gross of money of all the movies before Justice League and was criticized greatly for the Snyder take on Superman. Then Batman v Superman completely a Snyder production made a little more money but was torn apart critically by its dark joyless theme. Then there was David Ayer’s Suicide Squad which did well at the box office but died critically at 26% Rotten Tomatoes score. The success of Wonder Woman directed by Patty Jenkins was not enough to excite all moviegoers about the upcoming DC movies. With the release of Justice League, the little faith of the WB heads was completely lost.
What the heads of Warner are doing is stripping out any influence of Zack Snyder in the DCEU and replacing it with a much slower production of movies that are complete stories within themselves and only loosely tied to the greater cinematic universe. The only exception to that is going to be Flashpoint which at this point will feature the Flash with other Justice League characters. Wonder Woman and Cyborg are featured in the story written by Joby Harold with possibly a Ben Afflect Batman appearance. This is not a done deal but preproduction has begun for the Flash movie because the WB brain trust liked the performance of Ezra Miller as the Flash in Justice League and the character the Flash is a hot item thanks to the Grant Gustin Flash on TV.
While the DC cinematic world is not dead it is on life support till the creators of these movies can get it right and that may take a couple years. This may be disappointing for some DC fans but it is good business and follows the same plan as another more successful production of superheroes over at Disney. Even with a good reception to the Aquaman movie that will not change the direction that is needed for success. Unlike Marvel which sold away much of their cinematic rights to superheroes to get them through the nineties with the threat of bankruptcy, DC cinema has retained almost all of the iconic characters they have had for over 75 years.
With all the material and wonderful stories available to DC Films it is a shame they did not place the DCEU’s future in better hands. Where is the clone of Kevin Feige to help DC films? Perhaps someone will step to the plate that knows how to play hardball with the direction of these superheroes. Someone who is true to the roots of these wonderful characters. Matt Reeves Batman movie may be a start in the right direction. Matthew Vaugh director for X-Men and Kingsman wants to bring back the Super in Superman again and is in talks with WB heads to help with that cornerstone of the DC franchise.
Then we have Patty Jenkins who gave us an outstanding film in Wonder Woman and is on track to do it again with another Wonder Woman film. I don’t need a brick wall to fall on me to realize DC Films needs help but there is enough talent out there and love for these superheroes to make that happen. Warner Bros. films made over two billion dollars this year domestically so far in 2017 so there is some wisdom there at the studio to make a successful movie venture. As Yoda said to Luke in the Last Jedi learn from your failures, “The greatest teacher, failure is.” So it goes in the world of cinema learn to produce something the public wants and you will make lots of money.
Thanks for joining us and comeback for more. 🙂 Walt