Warner Brothers has a lot riding on JUSTICE LEAGUE. The DC equivalent of Marvel’s AVENGERS, the film had a moderately troubled production. Director Zack Synder’s initial cut was deemed unsatisfactory by the studio and then he had to depart the movie due to a family tragedy. AVENGERS director Joss Whedon was brought in to supervise re-writes and re-shoots. The result is a film that cost in the neighborhood of $300 million and is the lynch pin for the DC extended universe.
JUSTICE LEAGUE finally opened this past weekend to $96 million. That sounds solid, but is actually pretty distressing for WB. BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE chalked up $166 million, while WONDER WOMAN had an opening frame take of $103 million. It should stand to reason that a movie with five superheroes should have them lining up around the block. However, the $96 million result was $15-20 million short of industry projections and unless the film does substantial overseas business, WB will have to rely heavily on the ancillary revenues just to break even. That certainly does not bode well for future films and there is undoubtedly a major strategy meeting underway on how to proceed.
$96 million, of course, was still enough to top the box office. Second place was snatched by Lionsgate’s dramatic sleeper WONDER, which delivered a terrific $27 million. That result, and strong reviews, suggests that it will more than hold its own over the coming weeks.
THOR: RAGNAROK is still going strong, netting $21.7 million in weekend #3. DADDY’S HOME 2 and MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS rounded out the top five.
On the indie front, Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut LADY BIRD continues to do remarkably well for A24. The upstart indie expanded the movie to 238 screens for an additional $2.5 million and a #8 finish. It also continues to have a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Data courtesy of Box Office Mojo.