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  1. #1
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    Default Justice league box office: What went wrong

    Honestly, I thought JL was good. It wasn't great but it definitely isn't as bad as the critics made it out to be. It's definitely not the best DCEU movie IMO but it's a vast improvement over BvS and Suicide Squad.

    That being said, the movie is opening domestically to around $96m which is pretty shocking and disappointing seeing as this is DC/WBs prime property. Not to mention apart from Logan it's the lowest opening superhero movie of the year. WB won't lose money on this but the optics aren't good.

    The only things I can think of that could hurt the movie's opening weekend so badly are:

    1. BvS. I know the movie has some hardline fans but it's obvious that a LOT of people hated that movie and this is ostensibly the last part of Snyder's trilogy. The movie's marketing made it look more like BvS than Wonder Woman and the folks that hated that movie probably didn't show up for this.

    2. The aforementioned reviews. Although tracking wasn't too high in the first instance (it was tracking to open around $110-$130 million) I think the mixed to negative reviews drove away the casual audience.

    3. Wonder Woman fans didn't show up apparently. WW was a cultural phenomenon with a large female audience and apparently a lot of them are not interested in shared universes.

    4. The absence of Superman in the marketing. No matter how folks want to spin it, Superman is still the most recognizable superhero in the world, he should have appeared in the marketing. I know fans hate spoilers but when dealing with a property that MUST have crossover appeal, one has to consider the non-geek audience and give them priority.
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  2. #2
    ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ Godlike13's Avatar
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    What went right? Making the movie was a struggle.

  3. #3
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    As I said in the "Reviews" thread, the critics were sharpening their knives over this one even before it came out. Everyone loves to jump on the bandwagon to support a perceived winner and jump on the dogpile to tear apart a perceived loser.

    Justice League was good, but not great. I enjoyed it, but of course I could easily see that it should have been so much more.

    So, for a lot of critics and audience members (although the Audience score on Rotten Tomatoes is a very good 86% and the RT for Critics has rebounded to 40%), the movie in their imagination set them up for a big letdown compared to reality of what they got.

    Obviously, potential-wise, a movie starring 6 of DC's top heroes excites the imagination in a way that maybe is impossible to deliver in reality. I know Avengers did for most people, but Marvel had no prior conceptions of their heroes in the public's mind to compete against, so they just bought into the Marvel Cinematic Universe versions from the get-go. The only time they didn't was with the Hulk because (1) He's not a very interesting character, and (2) Maybe people in that case DID have the Bill Bixby TV series on the brain, which is why they couldn't deal with Ang Lee's version. By the time they tried to course correct the Hulk in the sequel, it was too late.

    DC has to compete against well-loved versions of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and even Flash to an extent. Gal triumphed as Wonder Woman thanks to Patty Jenkins, but the Snyder/Whedon treatment of her in JL had gratuitous booty shots and houndog-Aquaman. The great thing about Jenkins' version is that Diana never used her sexuality to advance her goals in the solo film. WW in JL was clearly directed by men. I like Henry Cavill a lot as Superman, but Chris Reeve has immortalized himself in the role, so it's an uphill battle to be accepted, and Snyder's take was a tonal shift that did not register with a lot of people. Affleck was better as Batman in BvS than he was here. I don't think he was happy with Whedon's reshoots (he diplomatically referred to the final product as "interesting"). Maybe Affleck was more attracted to Snyder's Milleresque tortured Batman and that's why now he wants a "cool, graceful" way to exit.

    Anyway, there will be a lot of ink spilled in the press and on message boards like this trying to dissect everything, but I feel there will be a lot of very intense meetings at Warners come Monday morning. Heads will roll, and they probably should from the top level management who mandated a 2-hour run time (although he probably knew he had a turkey this Thanksgiving and wanted to cram in as many shows as possible each day before the word spread) to marketing who left Superman out of it when we all knew Henry Cavill was shooting -- he was tweeting pictures of himself for gosh sakes! I think in addtion to the "You Can't Save the World Alone" campaign, they should have tried to tease and intrigue the audience with something like "JUSTICE LEAGUE: Superman WILL return -- but HOW? And will it be too late to save mankind? Find out this November!"

    DC has nothing on its docket until Aquaman, which doesn't open until December next year. They really need to STOP and take the time to create a plan and put the right people in the right places. Right now it does feel that they are throwing a bunch of things against the wall to see what sticks: Cyborg solo, Matt Reeves' Batman, Scorcese's Joker movie, Shazam, Gotham City Sirens, Joker/Harley, Batgirl, Justice League Dark, Black Adam, and others have been announced, but I can't tell how many of these things are real.

    We were told that the go-ahead on Flashpoint depends on the success of JL, so I think that project is now dead in the water, and quite frankly I'm glad about that. We've already seen the Flashpoint animated movie, and the Flash TV version of it. Why do we need to see it a 3rd time? I know Geoff Johns wrote it and he's head of DC Films, but how in love with his own story could he be? I liked Ezra Miller in JL, but I do agree that eventually the jokes failed to stick the landing, and I also really thought the scenes with him and his father in jail felt super-redundant given how it was such a big part of the Flash TV show. I'm really tired of Flash crying over his dead mommy, and I don't need to see the movie version go over the same exact ground.

    I'm okay with replacing Ben Affleck as Batman. I haven't seen too much of Jake Gyllenhaal's work, but he seems to be a good actor, so let's give it a shot. At 36, he's more in the age range of Henry Cavill (34) and Gal Gadot (32), which is the way it should be.

    Going forward, I think the best way to fix things is to do a big, public break with the past marketing campaign. Announce now that Justice League is done, Phase I is over, and now we're moving to Phase II. Don't even do a Flashpoint movie to explain embarking on a new continuity because the general audience won't care. Just plop the new, younger Batman in and don't even bother to explain it. Marketing should set its sights forward instead of trying to fix the past. That bell can't be unrung, unfortunately, so just focus on letting the audience know that 2019 begins a new Phase for DC Films, use 2018 to plan out great movies and then deliver them.

    Also, Warners tends to be very management heavy as a company, so they have to avoid the "too many cooks in the kitchen" syndrome.

    Hopefully, the international box office for Justice League will be great as it was for BvS, so the final result won't look so awful, but the reality is that Justice League might have a lot of trouble breaking $200 million domestically given that Batman v Superman only had a 1.98 multiplier on it's domestic gross. In other words, the total domestic was only 1.98 times the first weekend gross. In contrast, the more universally loved Wonder Woman had about a 4.0 multiplier, which is pretty unheard of for a superhero film.

    If JL has a similar multiplier to BvS, we could see Justice League topping out at $190 million domestically, which will be something that will hound DC Films for years to come.
    Last edited by Comic-Reader Lad; 11-19-2017 at 10:55 AM.

  4. #4
    Put a smile on that face Immortal Weapon's Avatar
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    Three shitty movies.

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member Jokerz79's Avatar
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    To be fair to the women who showed up for Wonder Woman and not Justice League Scantily clad Amazons, WW Upskirt Shot, and a Boob joke might had kept them away.

  6. #6
    Fantastic Member regg215's Avatar
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    While I have personally enjoyed Justice League and the DCEU as a whole quite a bit, it has certainly had it's share of issues. I think that the Justice League really suffered at the boxoffice because of dozens of reasons that just finally came back to bite the DCEU.

    As I see it these are the biggest reasons that justice league did not live up to projections:

    1)Critical reception. For some reason other than Wonder Woman, reviews for DCEU films have been overly negative. While the movies have certainly had their issues, critics of these films sound more like fanboys trashing DCEU films for some reason. Watching Justice League/BVS and Suicide Squad all of those movies have had issues but critics try to make it sound like they are some of the worst movies ever released, which they absolutely are not. The overly negative bordering on gleefully negative reaction from critics to everything but Wonder Woman finally caught up to DC. Errors that get ignored in marvel films get highlighted in DC films by critics, as some critics really seem to be searching for any reason to overly trash the DCEU.

    2) The whole amazons and Wonder Woman controversy for Justice League didn't help at all. The complaints were way over the top but the whole week prior to release the biggest news about JL was that the amazons wore less clothing and that the movie was sexist. I didn't really pick up on that much in the movie but there is no question that this hurt the movie, especially in light of what has been going on the last few months in hollywood.

    3) Not following the Marvel path of introducing the heroes first before the team up movie also was a mistake. While I liked how DC approached this, is appears that general audience does not really care about cyborg, flash or aquaman making their debuts. Those solo films would have been risky but given the results of JL so far it appears the route they took was a mistake.

    4) No superman in the marketing. While fanboys probably appreciated that they were handling the death of superman as a big deal, the general audience didn't seem to care about that. While we as fans knew that Superman was going to be in the film, the audience that needs to show up for these movies to be successful didn't seem all that aware and that hurt the box office. Superman is a huge character to the general audience and choosing to leave him out of marketing was a choice that played well with comic fans but not the general audience.


    5)Most importantly I think the release date was what ultimately led to the box office numbers. Releasing the film two weeks after a marvel movie and at the end of the year instead of the summer was a bad idea. It not impossible for films to make tons of money during winter but Summer typically produces bigger blockbuster films. To have JL come out to negative reviews just a few weeks after Thor came out to insanely positive critical praise was a bad look.

    Overall while this is a bad week for DCEU it's not the worst news. The movie isn't a bomb,it's not going to lose money it just won't be the huge success it should have been. While Marvel fanboys are going to say that this is the end of the DCEU and will exaggerate what this means, the DCEU isn't going anywhere. With how successful Wonder Woman was there is no way they will just reboot or scrap the whole thing. This will probably lead to some movies being scrapped (since DC has like 20 films in development) and will probably lead to a tighter narrative focusing on fewer characters. I imagine the batman will be pushed along faster and some retooling will be done with the directors but overall the DCEU is still strong and just needs some changes not a reboot.
    Last edited by regg215; 11-19-2017 at 11:44 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Haven't seen it. Why not? Well, the JLA needs to start off with Supes, Bats, GL, Flash, WW, J'onn and Aquaman at full power. Who gives a crap about Cyborg? Who wants origin/set up for the sequel? Who wants a punky Flash and not a mature Barry Allen.

    It doesn't grab me. Bring on Starro, for God's sake. Drop the angst and Batman focus. Every movie makes him more ridiculous. So he had a tank like car, so what? If an M1 Abrams got a shot at him or a A-10, he's out of the fight.

  8. #8
    Maintaining Status Q _Feely_'s Avatar
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    Its probably cos it's not a very good film.

  9. #9

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    F the critics. I didnt waste a second reading their lame reviews. I never do. I don't care to read a bunch of blowhards patting themselves on the back. The movie was far from perfect, but it wqs a good enough TRUE comic movie. It felt like I was reading a motion picture comic. Very true to form with stuff like Batman just drunkenly manage with tech, the heroes not making perfect decisions, etc.

    The biggest pill to swallow was Superman being this huge beacon of hope and batman/wonderwomnlan acting like they were super uper best friends with the guy. Lol. But it's all good. Nice cheesy message at the end.

    Solid 8.25/10 will watch again. Hope it makes enough DC doesn't get discouraged with the whole shared universe thing. I like how they blatant put in two atelier credit scenes to be like a marvel m9ve. It's what us audiences expect nowadays. Lol.

    Quick scans seems to indicate the more was torn apart critically. Meh. Relax you umb critics. Lol

  10. #10
    Scarlet and Proud! Star_Jammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jokerz79 View Post
    To be fair to the women who showed up for Wonder Woman and not Justice League Scantily clad Amazons, WW Upskirt Shot, and a Boob joke might had kept them away.
    What was the "boob joke"? Apparently I missed it.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by regg215 View Post
    While I have personally enjoyed Justice League and the DCEU as a whole quite a bit, it has certainly had it's share of issues. I think that the Justice League really suffered at the boxoffice because of dozens of reasons that just finally came back to bite the DCEU.

    As I see it these are the biggest reasons that justice league did not live up to projections:

    1)Critical reception. For some reason other than Wonder Woman, reviews for DCEU films have been overly negative. While the movies have certainly had their issues, critics of these films sound more like fanboys trashing DCEU films for some reason. Watching Justice League/BVS and Suicide Squad all of those movies have had issues but critics try to make it sound like they are some of the worst movies ever released, which they absolutely are not. The overly negative bordering on gleefully negative reaction from critics to everything but Wonder Woman finally caught up to DC. Errors that get ignored in marvel films get highlighted in DC films by critics, as some critics really seem to be searching for any reason to overly trash the DCEU.

    2) The whole amazons and Wonder Woman controversy for Justice League didn't help at all. The complaints were way over the top but the whole week prior to release the biggest news about JL was that the amazons wore less clothing and that the movie was sexist. I didn't really pick up on that much in the movie but there is no question that this hurt the movie, especially in light of what has been going on the last few months in hollywood.

    3) Not following the Marvel path of introducing the heroes first before the team up movie also was a mistake. While I liked how DC approached this, is appears that general audience does not really care about cyborg, flash or aquaman making their debuts. Those solo films would have been risky but given the results of JL so far it appears the route they took was a mistake.

    4) No superman in the marketing. While fanboys probably appreciated that they were handling the death of superman as a big deal, the general audience didn't seem to care about that. While we as fans knew that Superman was going to be in the film, the audience that needs to show up for these movies to be successful didn't seem all that aware and that hurt the box office. Superman is a huge character to the general audience and choosing to leave him out of marketing was a choice that played well with comic fans but not the general audience.


    5)Most importantly I think the release date was what ultimately led to the box office numbers. Releasing the film two weeks after a marvel movie and at the end of the year instead of the summer was a bad idea. It not impossible for films to make tons of money during winter but Summer typically produces bigger blockbuster films. To have JL come out to negative reviews just a few weeks after Thor came out to insanely positive critical praise was a bad look.

    Overall while this is a bad week for DCEU it's not the worst news. The movie isn't a bomb,it's not going to lose money it just won't be the huge success it should have been. While Marvel fanboys are going to say that this is the end of the DCEU and will exaggerate what this means, the DCEU isn't going anywhere. With how successful Wonder Woman was there is no way they will just reboot or scrap the whole thing. This will probably lead to some movies being scrapped (since DC has like 20 films in development) and will probably lead to a tighter narrative focusing on fewer characters. I imagine the batman will be pushed along faster and some retooling will be done with the directors but overall the DCEU is still strong and just needs some changes not a reboot.
    The whole Amazons thing seems to be overblown.

    I don't think anyone coming away from the movie will think "damn! those amazons were so sexy".

    The actresses playing the roles were obviously beautiful women but nothing in the movie screamed objectification.
    This is America, Don't Catch you slippin' up

  12. #12
    Incredible Member Jackmando7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Username taken View Post
    The whole Amazons thing seems to be overblown.

    I don't think anyone coming away from the movie will think "damn! those amazons were so sexy".

    The actresses playing the roles were obviously beautiful women but nothing in the movie screamed objectification.
    I'm sure the people complaining about the "scantily clad" Amazons are a real joy to be around. *eye roll*

  13. #13
    Invincible Member XPac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Username taken View Post
    The whole Amazons thing seems to be overblown.

    I don't think anyone coming away from the movie will think "damn! those amazons were so sexy".

    The actresses playing the roles were obviously beautiful women but nothing in the movie screamed objectification.
    Honestly if not for the protests of the outfits, I personally don't think I would have noticed.

  14. #14
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    it's just like the OP author says:

    BvS killed this movie for me. I didn't even expect that movie to be very good. but it was worse than I imagined it would be!

    when I learned that they brought back the same writer and director for "Justice League" that killed my interest in the film immediately. even news of Whedon being brought in after the Snyder family tragedy didn't change my mind. after 20 years of seeing his work I've grown tired of Whedon's approach and material. he's consistent, he's reliable, and I just don't feel any desire to see anything else he works on.

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member AJBopp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Username taken View Post
    The only things I can think of that could hurt the movie's opening weekend so badly are:

    1. BvS. I know the movie has some hardline fans but it's obvious that a LOT of people hated that movie and this is ostensibly the last part of Snyder's trilogy. The movie's marketing made it look more like BvS than Wonder Woman and the folks that hated that movie probably didn't show up for this.
    I think it's clear that BvS had a greater impact on this movie's attendance than WW, and probably understandably so. The trailers looked more like BvS than WW.

    Quote Originally Posted by Username taken View Post
    2. The aforementioned reviews. Although tracking wasn't too high in the first instance (it was tracking to open around $110-$130 million) I think the mixed to negative reviews drove away the casual audience.
    I'm going to suggest word of mouth had a greater role than reviews. There are a lot of examples of movies (even superhero movies) that outperformed the critical reaction. Preview and opening night were on part with Wonder Woman, but it wasn't able to build on that. That suggests to me that people left the theaters and told there friends what most have openly said on here (including the OP): "Meh. It was good but not great." That calls to mind the reaction to BvS again, and anything that reminds a viewer of BvS is likely to give this one a pass.

    Quote Originally Posted by Username taken View Post
    3. Wonder Woman fans didn't show up apparently. WW was a cultural phenomenon with a large female audience and apparently a lot of them are not interested in shared universes.
    As said before, WW did not have nearly as great effect on this movie as BvS did. It would be ironic if, after all this time, Batman turns out to be a toxic character to be in a superhero movie (not suggesting that's true, but it's something to think about).

    Quote Originally Posted by Username taken View Post
    4. The absence of Superman in the marketing. No matter how folks want to spin it, Superman is still the most recognizable superhero in the world, he should have appeared in the marketing. I know fans hate spoilers but when dealing with a property that MUST have crossover appeal, one has to consider the non-geek audience and give them priority.
    Star Trek III marketing was notable for its absence of Spock, and it did all right. Superman is about the same level of recognizable in the movie world at least. But, let's be honest with ourselves. There hasn't been a loved version of Superman on the screen since 1980, no more so than the last two films with him. It seems very likely that marketing targeted to "Superman Returns!" would be more open to ridicule than excited anticipation.
    Why yes, I AM a Mark Goodson/Bill Toddman production.

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