Justice League is expected to conclude its theatrical run at around $675 million. Zack Snyder’s 2013 Superman origin film, Man of Steel, ended up becoming the impetus for Warner Bros.’ DC Comics-based universe, which officially launched with the filmmaker’s 2016 follow-up, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. The studio expanded the newly-formed shared universe with David Ayer’s Suicide Squad and Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, but the overarching narrative that began with Man of Steel came to a head with Snyder’s Justice League in November 2017.
The world’s finest heroes – Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) – came together for the first ever on the big screen in Justice League for an ultimate showdown with the supervillain Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) and his army of Parademons. Unfortunately, the film – in its heavily-altered state – underperformed both critically and commercially, and Warner Bros. is currently restructuring their DC Films brand because of it. While Justice League wasn’t expected to top Man of Steel‘s global box office, it seems the film just might trudge past that mark before it concludes its theatrical run, should the blockbuster movie continue on its current course.
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Justice League pulled in an estimated $4.17 million from the domestic box office, and an estimated $5.3 million from international markets, during Star Wars: The Last Jedi‘s opening weekend. Taking those numbers into account, Box Office Guru reports that Justice League‘s final worldwide gross is expected to land at around $675 million. That number suggests Justice League will pass Man of Steel‘s global gross of $668 million, but not by much – and that’s still a catastrophic defeat for the brand, which recently saw overwhelming success with Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.
Justice League has amassed $633 million globally, of which $219.4 million was earned domestically and $414.5 million was earned internationally. While the film may finally pass Man of Steel‘s worldwide gross, it won’t earn enough money to pass the Superman movie’s domestic haul of $291 million, thus making Justice League the lowest-grossing DC Comics film – domestically, that is – since 2005’s Batman Begins.
A final gross of $675 million makes Justice League the second lowest-grossing film in the DCEU, in front of Man of Steel‘s aforementioned tally, but behind Suicide Squad‘s $745.6 million (without China), Wonder Woman‘s record-breaking $821.9 million, and Batman V Superman‘s 873.3 million. What’s more, Justice League isn’t expected to break into 2017’s top 10 highest-grossing movies. Andrés Muschietti’s IT is currently standing in Justice League‘s way with an astonishing $696.3 million global haul.
The Justice League Dark movie has had a long and tortured road, and there’s no end in sight. This is a project which would focus on the magical and monstrous corners of the DCEU, featuring characters like Swamp Thing, John Constantine, and others, and it has been in development at Warner Bros. for something on the order of five years. For much of that time, Guillermo del Toro was in charge of development, with an eye on directing.
But as with much of Warner Bros’ DC superhero movies, nothing has been easy when it comes to Justice League Dark. For one thing, it was once known as Dark Universe, but Universal came along and snatched that name up for their (now apparently dead) shared cinematic universe of action/horror flicks that was supposed to kick off with last summer’s The Mummy. For another, far more important thing, Justice League Dark hasn’t been able to keep its claws on a director.
First, Guillermo del Toro left the project. Then Doug Liman came on board. Then he left. And now Warner Bros. is considering new talent, but so far hasn’t settled on anybody. Still, there are reports that they’re still quite serious about getting this one on the schedule, and it’s rumored to be one of the next DCEU flicks to go into production. But for the first time we have an idea of what the movie might have looked like if it had gotten moving while Guillermo del Toro was still involved.
Dark Universe concept art from Justin Fields has surfaced, apparently from a point when Guillermo del Toro was still on board as writer. Fields worked on a pitch for the project with director Joseph Kahn. If nothing else, this gives us a better idea of the film’s roster.
For what it’s worth, Justice League earned $750,000 on Monday, making day 25 the first day in which the DC Films offering earned less than $1 million per day. Ditto Batman v Superman, while Wonder Woman earned at least $1m in its first 47 days, Suicide Squad fell below on day 27 and Man of Steel fell below on day 32. Say what you will about year-round blockbuster season, but Man of Steel and Wonder Woman used those summer weekdays to their advantage. Conversely, Justice League has displayed perfectly solid post-debut legs for a film opening in that pre-Thanksgiving slot, if only the opening weekend were larger.
To wit, the Zack Snyder/Joss Whedon film has earned $212.88 million in 25 days of domestic release, already achieving a 2.27x multiplier. That’s already larger tied with Man of Steel and larger than Dawn of Justice and the various Twilight sequels. And it should have no problem being leggier than Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part I (2.36x). Alas, The Hunger Games sequels (over/under 2.7x), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2.8x), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2.9x) and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (3.14x) will likely be a bridge too far.
At a glance, Justice League will be ending its domestic run over/under $240 million, meaning it will essentially be like Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Transformers: Age of Extinction. But those two played huge overseas and thus both crossed $1 billion worldwide. The DC Film superhero sequel was never going to do $700m+ overseas, so a solid domestic performance was of paramount importance. And when that didn’t happen, a $400m+ overseas total wasn’t nearly enough to save it. So the recut over/under $300m-budgeted tentpole is looking at a global total of approximately the $668m worldwide cume of Man of Steel.