While you could argue that the Justice League reviews were better than expected, that’s mainly because Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad set the bar so low. Although Warner Bros. went out of their way to keep the reviews from coming out until the last minute, the mixed reception apparently effected the film’s box office numbers anyway.
According to Box Office Mojo, Justice League only grossed an estimated $96 million during its domestic debut. To be fair, this would a pretty impressive opening for most mainstream blockbusters. Considering that the previous DCEU movies all opened with over $100 million, though, it’s hard not to view this as a disappointing turn out, especially given how long audiences have been waiting for a Justice League movie. To make matters worse for DC, Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok premiered with roughly $122 million just a couple weeks ago.
DC was likely hoping that Justice League would be their equivalent to The Avengers. Justice League couldn’t even make half of what that landmark film grossed in its opening, though, ($207 million). It’s numbers are only slightly better than the opening for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ($91 million). As we all know, the disappointing numbers for that film resulted in Sony abandoning their plans for a Spidey cinematic universe.
On the plus side, it’s not like Justice League bombed by any means. The film ultimately made an estimated $281.5 million worldwide. With a production budget that’s estimated to be somewhere around $300 million, however, the film really needed to leave a big impact this past weekend and it just didn’t. At the very least, Justice League is bound to go down as a successful enough disappointment. If WB and DC want to win back audiences and keep this franchise going, though, they need to turn out more movies like Wonder Woman.
You can check out the full weekend box office results here. Where Justice League struggled, the critically acclaimed Wonder actually exceeded expectations, opening at #2 with an estimated $27 million.