‘Justice League’ Falls Flat in the U.S. Box Office

Project Casting

Justice League made well below expectations with $96 million opening. In fact, analysts predicted a $110 million box office launch in the domestic box office. If the studio estimates continue to hold, it will be the lowest-opening film in the DC Extended Universe.

It has been tough for the DC Universe since “Man of Steel” launched the franchise in 2013, with films facing high expectations, critical reviews, and the tough standard of competing against Marvel Cinematic Universe. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice may have had bad reviews in early 2016, but it still opened to $166 million and went on to make $873.3 million worldwide.

Justice League hits the box office after the widely well-received Wonder Woman, the first DC Extended Universe movie to score highly among critics and audiences. The movie brings back Ben Affleck’s Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman to fight another monster while introducing new characters like Ezra Miller’s The Flash, Jason Momoa’s Aquaman and Ray Fisher’s Cyborg.

That said, Justice League did not impress critics, but neither did Batman v. Superman or Suicide Squad, which still managed earn $133.7 million at the box office.

Warner Bros. is optimistic about Justice League’s box office earnings, even with the lower than expected launch against the production budget that is reported to be between $250 million to $300 million, which does not include marketing expenses.

“I did have a higher expectation for the three days,” said Jeff Goldstein, who heads up domestic distribution for Warner Bros. “(But) this is a big vacation week, and we have an opportunity to get a big audience to see us in a different pattern.”

Goldstein added that he is excited by a few factors including a B+ CinemaScore, the fact that women accounted for 42 percent of the audience, and that Saturday’s earnings were higher than on Friday.

“Clearly there is interest in the movie,” Goldstein said.

Overall, the international box office will make the biggest difference. The movie launched to $185.5 million from 65 different markets, boosting the worldwide debut to $281.5 million.

Here are the estimated box office numbers:

1.”Justice League,” $96 million ($185.5 million international).

2.”Wonder,” $27.1 million ($310,000 international).

3.”Thor: Ragnarok,” $21.8 million ($24.1 million international).

4.”Daddy’s Home 2,” $14.8 million.

5.”Murder on the Orient Express,” $13.8 million ($20.7 million international).

6.”The Star,” $10 million.

7.”A Bad Moms Christmas,” $6.9 million ($5.1 million international).

8.”Lady Bird,’ $2.5 million.

9.”Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” $1.1 million.

10.”Jigsaw,” $1.1 million ($4.1 million international).

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