Justice League has finished its opening weekend with the lowest domestic box office yet for DC’s cinematic universe. Zack Snyder’s latest came in with high expectations due to the massive commercial success of Wonder Woman and the iconic brand’s rich mythology and built-in fanbase. But unfortunately, it appears on track to follow up its weak reviews with a similarly disappointing showing at the box office, painting a bleak picture for a production that cost an estimated $300 million.
The movie did get a B+ CinemaScore, indicating that fans enjoyed the movie more than critics. But Justice League still fell well short of fan reactions for other recent superhero offerings like Wonder Woman, Thor: Ragnarok, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which all received A’s. The final opening weekend domestic box office tallies are in for Justice League, and while Warner Bros. can claim victory, the numbers are still far below what they hoped to see.
As reported by Variety on Sunday, Justice League dominated the U.S. box office with $96 million at 4,051 locations. It’s by far the No. 1 movie of the weekend, with Lionsgate’s Wonder coming in second at $27 million, but it still fell way behind its $110 million projection. It’s easily the worst opening yet for DC’s interconnected cinematic universe, coming in behind the premieres for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice ($166 million), Suicide Squad ($133 million), Man of Steel ($116 million), and Wonder Woman ($103 million).
Thor: Ragnarok, meanwhile, continued to go strong with another $21.8 million for third place, bringing its domestic total to $247.4 million after 17 days. While that movie had the fourth-best opening of the year, Justice League is merely eighth, barely finishing behind The Fate of the Furious’ $98 million. Variety added that Justice League couldn’t even crack the top-50 biggest domestic openings of all-time, coming in 53rd.
Although Justice League is suffering through a discouraging opening weekend, relatively disappointing CinemaScore, and just 40 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, it is still expected to gross around $285 worldwide in its first three days. It could still have an outside shot at passing $600 million globally, which would likely mean that it at least broke even. The movie certainly looks like a box office disappointment, but not necessarily a disaster just yet.
Despite the consensus that it was an artistic improvement over Batman v. Superman, Justice League is clearly a big step back for DC after the momentum that the brand got from Wonder Woman over the summer. WB now has to hope that it can not only avoid losing money with Justice League but rebound nicely when James Wan’s Aquaman hits theaters a year from now. Jason Momoa was one of the standouts of Justice League, giving hope that his solo turn can push the franchise back in the right direction.
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