It’s no secret that Justice League is Warner Bros.’ most ambitious project based in the DC Extended Universe to date, nor that the ensemble superhero epic has commanded an incredibly high budget. Now, the question is whether Zack Snyder’s latest superhero opus will be able to turn a profit during its theatrical run, and how much it has to earn to simply break even.
According to Variety, Hollywood sources have placed the film’s production budget at a whopping $250 million ($25 million of which reportedly came from the Joss Whedon helmed reshoots), with tens of millions being pumped into the movie’s promotion. As a result, once you factor in the percentage of ticket sales theaters keep, Justice League will have to earn somewhere in the neighborhood of $600 million at the worldwide box office in order to simply break even.
While the opening weekend won’t necessarily make or break the movie’s chance at turning a profit during its theatrical run, the $110 million or so it’s projected to bring in domestically is cause for concern. In comparison, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opened to $166 million when it debuted in 2016, and while reviews for that DCEU film weren’t great, they were better than those Justice League is receiving.
Batman V Superman had a similar budget to Justice League and went on to earn over $800 million worldwide during its theatrical run, so it’s not impossible that the DC superhero team film can achieve a similar final take, though a less favorable reaction from audiences could make it more difficult. That Justice League is expected to earn over $300 million worldwide this weekend alone is a solid sign that Warner Bros. will at least recoup its investment, though the movie probably won’t end up being the moneymaker the studio had expected it to be.
In theaters now, Justice League stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko, Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon.
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