The Justice League may have been able to save the world, but they were not able to meet their box office expectations, earning the least amount of money out of all of the DCEU movies released thus far. It's weird to say a movie opening with $96 million is a failure, but in terms of how much money was pumped into the project along with comparisons to the previous 3 movies, Justice League did not live up to its hype. However, the movie did have a huge opening overseas of $185 million led by China, so hope is not completely lost for Justice League.
Studios on Sunday estimate that the enormously expensively Justice League will earn $96 million from 4,051 theaters. It is well below its modest $110 million estimates and pales in comparison to the $166 million launch of Batman v Superman in early 2016. Both movies were similarly panned by critics, but still earned number one spots at the box office and have the backing of fans. Justice League is launching with only the eighth largest opening of 2017 and it's not even in the top 50 domestic openings of all time, ranking 53rd behind Fast and Furious 6.
Zack Snyder's Justice League had been on track for an opening weekend of $110 million since last month. Stakes are particularly high for Warner Bros., which hasn't revealed the cost of the movie, but it is estimated to be as much as $300 million. The movie is the fifth installment of its DC Extended Universe, aimed at duplicating the success of Disney and Marvel's MCU franchises. And it's by far the lowest launch for the DCEU, trailing Batman v Superman ($166 million), Suicide Squad ($133 million), Man of Steel ($116 million), and Wonder Woman ($103 million).
While it's looking like Justice League is a financial flop, it's pretty early to call it a flat-out disaster just yet. It's looking like a nearly $300 million dollar worldwide opening for its first 3 days, which is nothing to sneeze at. It could end up hurting the future of the plethora of DC movies that Warner Bros. currently has in various stages of development. It has been rumored that the success of Justice League would have a significant effect on the future of the DCEU, which includes the Flashpoint movie as well as the upcoming sequel to Suicide Squad and Joker and Harley Quinn movie.
Justice League had a very public difficult birth, which may have had a negative impact on its box office earnings. Many DC loyalists are angry and think that Zack Snyder's vision was not seen through when Joss Whedon took over the project. Others feel burned by the quality of the movies and don't take comfort when reviews say that it's slightly better than Batman v Superman. Regardless, it's not exactly over for Justice League with the holiday weekend coming up and the continuing success overseas. You can read more about this weekend's box office numbers via Variety.