Justice League Has DCEU's Lowest-Grossing Opening

There is some fun to be had with "Justice League", and that's a huge step in the right direction.

When Marvel built up its group of cinematic superheroes, the studio turned to cult-TV showrunner Joss Whedon to bring that group together in the massively successful 2012 team-up film The Avengers. According to Variety, Justice League opened with just $96 million in the U.S., which is $14 million below the studio's estimate.

Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. domestic distribution president, said there were several positive signs such as a 28% hike in business from Friday to Saturday and the start of Thanksgiving vacations this week. But you may be asking, how is nearly $100 million a disappointment?

One would have to assume that it would be unlikely for Warner Bros.to release Snyder's original cut (especially if he felt himself that it wasn't up to scratch), but if the petition does get enough support, perhaps we'll see an (Original) Director's Cut one day? Its opening comes two weeks after Disney-Marvel's "Thor: Ragnarok" debuted above forecasts with a $122.7 million opening weekend in what was the fourth-biggest launch of the year.

In today's world, where superhero blockbusters keep the lights on at all the studios in Hollywood, an anticipated release like "Justice League" - powered with the iconic characters Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg - not being able to crack $100 million is a shocking result that could lead to dramatic changes in the franchise.

Dale Robinette  Lionsgate
Dale Robinette Lionsgate

According to Box Office Mojo's statistics Justice League has opened $14 million short of industry projections, grossing an estimated $96 million in North America. Cinema Score now ranks the film as a B+ based on audience reactions, while Rotten Tomatoes has it at a 39% according to critics, and an 85% audience score. "Wonder", starring Jacob Tremblay as a fifth grader with a facial deformity, received an A+ CinemaScore with an audience that was 68% female and 66% over 25. Fox Searchlight opened McDonagh's movie in NY and L.A. last weekend then expanded it into 53 theaters on Friday where it took in $1.1 million (about $21,132 per theater) for ninth place. If the idea of marketing is to sell a movie and convince people to see it ASAP, CinemaScore tells you what those people who were swayed by the marketing thought of the film.

A Bad Moms Christmas took seventh place with $6.9 million and $50.9 mill. domestic gross, paling in comparison to the $100 mill. plus grossed by its predecessor.

The Julia Roberts family drama, "Wonder", was projected to earn around $9 million this weekend.

As expected, both Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird and Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri ended up in the Top 10 with A24 expanding Lady Bird into 238 theaters where the movie made $2.5 mill. for eighth place.

  • Kyle Peterson