Warner Bros.' fourth entry in their expansive DC Extended Universe, Justice League, got off to a solid start at the box office this weekend, taking in $13 million from Thursday sneak preview screenings. This figure is just above the Thursday tally for this summer's Wonder Woman, which took in $11 million on Thursday, en route to $38.2 million on Friday and a three-day opening weekend of $103.3 million. This puts the Justice League opening weekend to land anywhere between $110 million and $115 million, which was the low end of the initial box office tracking projections from late September.
This $13 million tally also falls just short of the $14.5 million Thursday tally two weeks ago from Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok, which lead to an impressive $46.5 million tally on Friday. The one big difference between Thor: Ragnarok's debut and Justice League is the Marvel movie was universally praised by critics with a 93% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the second best reviewed Marvel movie behind 2008's Iron Man (94%). While the Justice League reviews were certainly better than Batman v Superman (27%) and Suicide Squad (26%), it still marks quite the decline from the 92% rating of this summer's Wonder Woman, which certainly seemed to help Wonder Woman in the long run.
While both Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad posted much bigger debuts, Wonder Woman managed to surpass both movies at the domestic box office, with its $412.5 million tally representing the second highest grossing movie of the year, behind Disney's Beauty and the Beast ($504 million). Unlike both Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman posted much more minimal drops from weekend to weekend, meaning repeat viewing was certainly much higher, and, while Wonder Woman didn't have nearly as big an opening weekend as its predecessors, it managed to surpass them by holding better than both movies from weekend to weekend. If Justice League wants to have the same sort of box office success that Wonder Woman has had, the second weekend may be just as important as the first, if not moreso. Still, that will prove to be much more difficult with a spate of mixed reviews from Rotten Tomatoes critics.
Justice League has already opened in nine international markets on Wednesday and 38 more on Thursday, with its international tally currently at $27.3 million. That figure doesn't include the "Day One flash estimate" of $15.1 million from China, where Justice League opens today on approximately 21,000 screens. This tally would be the second biggest opening day in China ever, behind Batman v Superman, and is also on par with the Chinese release of Thor: Ragnarok. Analysts are estimating that it should take in $50 million in China over the three-day weekend. The Justice League opening weekend in the U.S. also coincides with debuts in 18 international markets today, including China, the U.K., Spain and Mexico. After this weekend, there are only three more international markets for it to open in, with the Japan debut on November 23, Pakistan on November 24 and Lebanon on November 30.
There has been talk that the success of Justice League could determine the fate of other DCEU movies, so Warner Bros. clearly has a lot more riding on this movie. If it fails, it could mean that the DCEU will undergo some serious restructuring, but that has yet to be confirmed. The success of Wonder Woman seemed to instill a new faith in the DCEU, but if Justice League falters at the box office this weekend, there could be some big changes afoot for the DCEU. Deadline broke the news of this Thursday box office tally earlier today. Be sure to check back on Sunday for the top 10 estimates.