Justice League is currently tracking for an opening under $100 million, putting it behind Wonder Woman and making it the lowest opening from the DC universe. Warner Bros. has been trying to get a shared universe off the ground for years that will rival what Marvel Studios is doing, and the hope was Justice League would continue the positive push. Man of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Suicide Squad each saw negative buzz, but still managed to make a decent amount of money at the box office as each opened well north of $100 million.
This summer, the universe got the jolt it needed when Wonder Woman was a critical darling and had one of the more impressive runs at the box office of all-time. With Justice League following in its footsteps and putting Gal Gadot's female hero front and center, it never looked like Justice League would have trouble making money, especially opening weekend.
The earliest box office projections had the movie making north of $150 million opening weekend, but projections later fell to a more reasonable $120M, and then again to $110M. Justice League looked to be on track for the latter with a solid debut in Thursday night previews, and somehow things have changed again. THR is now reporting Justice League is on track for an opening weekend near $95M. If these projections hold, Justice League will have the lowest opening of any new DC movie.
It is still somewhat early and Justice League could surpass expectations the next two days, so it's too soon to pronounce Justice League's opening as a disappointment. However, it certainly would be a disappointment if these projections are met. Justice League was thought to be critic-proof because of the event-nature of the film and the ensemble it holds, but these numbers suggest it is anything but. Having your biggest film starring your biggest heroes open below all previous films is nothing close to what many expected Justice League's results to be.
Not only will the low opening hurt Justice League's box office, but it will surely have big ramifications on the future of this universe. Reports have popped up that Warner Bros. is waiting to see how Justice League performed before moving forward on various projects, including Flashpoint, but these results may see them change things dramatically. Any of the other DC projects could see changes implemented now too.
Aquaman has already wrapped filming but the release is over a year away, so they have plenty of time to make adjustments, and Shazam! is scheduled to start filming early next year, so Warner Bros. could make necessary tweaks before then. As for any other project and the potential standalone films for members of Justice League, those could be put in doubt too. What exactly will happen is sure to be revealed in the coming months, but Justice League's domestic opening isn't doing it, or the larger universe, any favors.
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