Let’s Talk About Justice League’s Lackluster Opening

Maybe Next Time. Warner Bros.

Welp it’s time to unpack Justice League’s lackluster box office performance. A hell of a lot was riding on this one. First, this is the first follow up since Warner Bros. lone critical smash Wonder Woman. The burden was on the dregs of Snyder’s film and the newly recruited Joss Whedon to sustain the sense of hope achieved by Patty Jenkins' record breaker.  Sadly, at least as far as critics are concerned, it did not. Second, Justice League had to validate the studio’s decision to preemptively put standalone films into pre production; if the film failed as a film on its own, it had at the very least be a competent commercial for Aquaman, Cyborg, and the Flash...it wasn’t.  Lastly and most importantly, Justice League had to make a case for the future of this universe. Can you watch ten more of these? Speaking only for myself, absolutely not.

Justice League is the lowest grossing movie in the DCEU. For some context, Batman V. Superman raked in an admirable $166 million in its opening weekend, Suicide Squad followed close behind with $133 million, Man Of Steel, the very first entry in the DCEU, managed $116.6 million, Wonder Woman opened with $103.25 million, leaving Justice League, the climax of four years' worth of build up, with a $96 million dollar opening. The first silver screen adaptation of the first crossover team up in comic book history could'nt crack 100 million. 

Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara is reportedly taking some heat for Justice League’s giant step backwards. In response to Batman V. Superman’s bloated 151 minute run-time, Tsujihara demanded Justice League come in under two hours. He also pushed for the lighter tone and reshoots that are prevalent throughout the film. I found these to be welcome additions but many fans are out for Tsujihara’s head, going so far as to change their twitter handles to Fire Kevin Tsujihara in addition to campaining for a Snyder cut of the film. Hey cheese dicks, you hated the last two movies he made, remember?

Honestly I don’t know that if Justice League was every bit the film we all wanted it to be, the box office would have seen anything like a massive improvement. The panning isn’t helping, but fans just aren't sold on this universe. Batman is bored and bloated, Superman's got an uncanny valley upper lip, no prominent music theme for the Justice League and Steppenwolf might be the worst movie villian of all time. This screeching left turn of a new direction feels like a cheap imitation of today’s current blockbusters. 

Aquaman’s up next, let’s see if the King Of Atlantis can save this sinking ship.

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