Justice League has proved to be another polarizing entry in the DC Extended Universe, spurring endless amounts of arguments, conspiracy theories, and even generating a petition for a Zack Snyder cut to be released. One aspect of the film's reception that isn't up for debate, however, is its lackluster performance at the box office. Justice League's $96 million opening is the first time a DCEU release has failed to earn at least $100 million in its domestic debut, and the question on whether the film will break even appears to have been answered.
According to Forbes, Justice League could possibly lose between $50 million and $100 million for Warner Bros. once all is said and done. Experts estimate the movie's budget at $300 million, with an additional $150 million for its massive global marketing campaign, making for a precarious return on investment. Justice League is on course to gross roughly $635 million worldwide, which would mark another low for the franchise, not all of which Warner Bros. gets to take home due to shared distribution returns. Theatrical gains and projected home video sales add up to $545 million in revenue for Warner Bros., and because estimates have Justice League costing the studio $600 million, including processing fees, the studio figures to lose at least $55 million.
A loss of this extent would be incredibly damaging for any film of this size, but the issue is exacerbated by the lofty expectations that Warner Bros. placed upon the production. The film not only featured such icons as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman (fresh off the highest-grossing superhero origin film ever), but it was also intended to be a universe-building venture that would make audiences interested in spinoffs starring The Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman.
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, Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon.