When Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opened nearly two weeks ago, it had a furiously big opening, particularly as it released both domestically and in China, and allowed the superhero clash an opening bow of $168 million domestically – just shy of WB’s record – and $254 million overseas. Huge numbers.
As has been reported ad nauseum, the next weekend was a tough one for the film, as its gross dropped 69% here state-side and 78% in the valuable Chinese market. It’s still number 1 at the U.S. Box Office, and it’s likely going to make a profit, given licensing and the monster overseas gross, but that hasn’t stopped the studio from expressing concern about their current plan going forward.
This morning, The Hollywood Reporter relayed the news that Warner Bros, the wake of Batman v Superman‘s diminishing returns, is considering releasing fewer films as well as make some changes in how the “DCEU” is approached going forward:
Several sources say Warner Bros. executives were convinced they had the goods with BvS and were shocked when negative reviews began pouring in. Now, with DC movies dated through 2020, the outcome has led to a flurry of rumors that the studio will make adjustments — maybe add a new producer? — rather than allow BvS director Zack Snyder to proceed with the two-part Justice League. But sources with firsthand knowledge of the situation say the studio has no such plans. One says the filmmakers naturally will evaluate what went wrong with BvS, but when it comes to Justice League, “we’re not going to take a movie that’s supposed to be one thing and turn it into a copycat of something else.”
One has a feeling that WB is likely feeling some trepidation about the April 11th start-date for Justice League Part 1, and there’s been much talk on-line about whether they’ll continue forward with Zack Snyder, or simply take a firmer hand with the end-product. Based on the reshoots that are currently happening with Suicide Squad, the latter seems like a stronger possibility.
Additionally, THR also reports that Wonder Woman has now been pushed forward from June 23rd to June 2nd of next year. This is a big help for that burgeoning franchise, as a Transformers sequel was plopped into that 23rd frame and would have been tough competition. A big debut for what is widely considered the best part of Batman v Superman by fans is a big priority, and rightfully so.
WB has also announced two dates for untitled DC films: Oct 5, 2018 and Nov 1, 2019, along with an untitled “WB Event Film” for Oct 6, 2017. Your guess on any of these is as good as mine. Official dates on films focused on Aquaman, The Flash, and Shazam could be possible answers there (as my colleague Torsten points out, the dates you see reported on those remain unofficial). Or an Ben Affleck-led Batman film. That’s probably the right answer actually.
Entertainment Editor for The Beat covering film, television and the occasional comic book. His work can also be found at GeekRex.com and can be heard on the GeekRex podcast. He really loves the Legion of Super-Heroes a lot.