Justice League has so far been a bit of a disappointment at the box office, taking $93,842,239 in the US on its opening weekend – less than what was expected. It’s currently grossing a total of $286,350,550 worldwide.
Given the film is still in cinemas and from a reported production budget of $300 million this doesn’t actually sound all that bad.
However, a report in Forbes breaking down what the actual costs of the film are likely to have been including an estimated $150 marketing budget, suggests that, after much number crunching, the movie might end up facing a loss of $50-$100 million for Warner Bros.
The report comes from Rob Cain, “a former studio executive and current film finance consultant and producer”, but is of course reliant on a fair amount of speculation and extrapolation.
Based on projections, he reckons the theatrical run will level out at about $635 million worldwide, which would make it the least successful of the films in the DCEU so far.
So, what could this mean for Aquaman, Flashpoint, Shazam! and the rest of the DCEU?
We’d imagine the immediate directive would be to make these films on a smaller budget. Wonder Woman, one of this years’ biggest success stories – which made $822 million worldwide – had a production budget half the size of Justice League at $149 million.
It’s surely no coincidence that the directors attached to Aquaman (James Wan) and Shazam! (David F. Sandberg) both have a proven track record of making highly successful (both critically and financially) movies on a very low budget.
Wan is the creator of the most successful horror franchise ever with the Saw movies, and more recently he’s created another genre money-spinner with the Conjuring films.
Sandberg is more of a newcomer but under Wan’s wing made Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation, both of which turned very healthy profits for Warner Bros.
If we were Warners right now, we’d actually hand over the reins of the DCEU to Wan.
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