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‘Justice League’ fizzling is the DCEU’s worst nightmare come true

The DCEU needs a hero.

Image: Warner bros. pictures

The DC Extended Universe is in deep crisis.

With $96 million on opening weekend, Justice League is unquestionably the weakest box office performer of all the DCEU movies. This was presumed to function as Avengers. Instead, it was their Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem.

With all your heroes united and triggered, is this in which you want to land on the opening weekend positions that are DCEU?  

  1. Batman v Superman: $166 million

  2. Suicide Squad: $133.6

  3. Man of Steel: $116.6 million

  4. Magic Woman: $103.25 million

  5. Justice League: $96 million

What does Warner Bros. do?

Now the studio finds itself in a real pickle

This is precisely what the studio was hoping to prevent when it pointed Zack Snyder to the leaves per year ago, plugging in Joss Whedon to rip out the critical picture’s guts and reshoot them with an all-new, lighter, jokier, ensembley-er tone.

The coming weeks will be worse for Justice League, as its box office yields drop like a stone. Magic Woman may have the next-lowest domestic opening weekend, but that film had unbelievably powerful legs, holding powerful for a gorgeous 21 weeks on its way to death all the other DC movies and shooting in the Top 5 superhero movies of all time.

Justice League will probably be lucky to decode the Best 25.

And now the studio finds itself in a real pickle. It spent mountains of cash and political capital to pivot away from Snyder’s doleful eyesight that critics despised but at least was functioning with a faithful (and, ahem, outspoken) swath of DC fans. There is no going back to that look — that boat has drifted — but the way is not exactly clear.

Magic Woman may be among the most treasured superhero movies of all time; it will be shared and re-watched and talked about for generations. However, melding personality, casting, and manager is more a result of serendipity than planning or foresight, a magical. It’s safe to state that Magic Woman triumphed in spite of its location in the DCEU, and surely not for this.

Aquaman was hardly the breakout personality of Justice League, and yet he’s up next December. Neither Batman nor Superman has a date on the calendar, also Wonder Woman 2 is a whole two years away. Shazam, Cyborg, and Green Lantern Corps are the only jobs with spots on a calendar.

Shazam, Cyborg, and Green Lantern Corps? Are they serious with that game strategy?

Shazam, Cyborg and Green Lantern Corps? Are they serious with that game strategy?

It’s a mess, compounded by Warner Bros. want to eject Affleck’s foibles in the Batmobile can you do this keeping continuity along with a face? — and the fact that the studio is in the middle of an ownership change. Anyone looking down the barrel of fresh supervisors about to take over understands paralyzing that can be.

Together with Suicide Squad manager David Ayers out of the film, not even it’s a way forward. That film was sexy vomit but at least it made cash; a sequel should’ve been a foregone conclusion that the moment tracking came online.

Ahh, there’s that term: It made money. Something all the other DC movies, like ’em or despise ’em, could boast. “We made it for the fans!” The fans, at least, along with the studio crowed, turned out.

However, for Justice League to drop under that significant cosmetic nine-figures domestic opener is a large, blazing distress sign in the clouds that those fans are becoming impatient.

And you believe someone is muttering that they should’ve just let this thing that is DCEU is finished by Snyder. At least that would’ve been a strategy forward.

Not they have that today.

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