Justice League has officially received a solid B+ CinemaScore. The latest from DC and Warner Bros. is on track to come in under projections at the box office and might not hit $100 million, potentially making it the lowest opening of any new DC release. Combine that with below-average reviews, and with the movie’s slow start WB could be looking at a relative disappointment compared to Wonder Woman.
The Zack Snyder-directed Justice League, which got plenty of help from Joss Whedon, has a chance to bring diminishing returns for a franchise that had just set a new standard both critically and commercially at the domestic box office with Wonder Woman. While the movie hasn’t seen widespread acclaim, it’ss arguably a step forward with general audiences from the critically panned Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and that is reflected in its newly revealed CinemaScore.
Grades for the newest releases have been revealed on the CinemaScore website, with Justice League officially rated a B+ along with an A+ for Wonder and an A for The Star. Justice League’s B+ is a half-grade above the B that Batman v. Superman got, but well short of the A given to Wonder Woman. It’s also far behind Thor: Ragnarok’s A, but tied for a B+ with recent releases like IT, American Assassin, and Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
The decent CinemaScore comes amid less promising news at the box office. With an estimated budget of $300 million, Justice League probably needs to hit $600 million worldwide just to break even for DC and WB. Variety reported on Saturday that although it still dominated Friday with $38.8 million in the U.S. (Wonder came in a distant second with $9.65 million), it’s expected to top out around $109.5 million worldwide for the day.
B+ CinemaScore grades are far from disasters, but it’s relatively weak for Justice League as compared to other recent superhero movies. And of course, its 40 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes as of Saturday is still a big letdown for DC, which finally found itself a critical darling with Wonder Woman in June. But the B+ CinemaScore and 86 percent audience score on RT are at least indicators that, like BvS, fans still enjoyed Justice League markedly more than critics.
Justice League’s $300 million budget looks painfully inflated with the box office numbers currently rolling in. Despite a decent CinemaScore and some improvements over BvS, it appears destined to be one of DC’s most disappointing releases yet. It could still turn things around in the coming weeks, but it’s clearly off to an underwhelming start. And with Star Wars: The Last Jedi on the horizon, the future doesn’t look too bright.
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