REVENGE REPORT: “Justice League- Fallout: What Did WB Learn? What’s DC’s Future?”
In the immediate aftermath of Justice League‘s arrival on November 17th, the outlook wasn’t pretty. After an incredibly tumultuous production, seemingly everything was going to come down to the way the film would be received. Would the ends justify the means? Would all of the behind-the-scenes drama somehow result in a film that exceeded expectations? Would audiences gobble it up even if it wasn’t great, simply because it’s the Justice League?
Once Monday, November 20th came along and the dust had settled, we had our answers: No. To everything.
The critical response was only moderately better than the last two DC team-up films; The fan response, i.e. Cinema Score, was only slightly warmer than the film that started Warner Bros. down its reactionary path, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; And- worst of all- it’s opening weekend box office figures were alarmingly tepid for a film of this scale. All of those sad answers would’ve been wiped off of the table if the film had done insane business, but it hadn’t.
This was DC Entertainment at its lowest point since 1997’s Batman and Robin.
This gave way to a whole new wave of questions:
- Who’s to blame for this fiasco?
- Will they scrap the rest of their lineup and reboot the series?
- Will they discretely apologize to Zack Snyder for hijacking his movie and try to get him back on board?
- Will they end the shared universe and just make standalone films the way they used to?
Now that it’s officially February, and Justice League‘s theatrical run is really on its last legs, we’ve got solid answers to most of these questions. But before we get to those, it’s important to understand how to interpret what happened with Justice League. The only way to make sense of where they’re heading is to understand how they think they got here.
A Studio At Peace With A Dud
In the lead-up to Justice League, I was one of the reporters who was sounding the alarm and warning people about what was coming down the pike. I may have been the one who broke the story about how WB was going to extensively overhaul the film, but I also tried to warn people via the El Fanboy Podcast that the studio knew they had a problematic film on their hands and- rather than delay it into 2018, which they easily could’ve done since there isn’t another DC film until Aquaman hits in December- they were just going to dump this thing into theaters just to get it over with.
Why? Because they felt whether it was the Snyder Cut, or their cut, the film was going to be a sore spot for the DC Universe (DCU).
That’s why they allowed a film with half-baked CG to go into wide release; That’s why they didn’t bother having Ciaran Hinds return for substantial reshoots to beef up Steppenwolf’s plot, despite the fact that he really needed more substance now that he was no longer building towards Darkseid; That’s why you didn’t see Geoff Johns out their campaigning for the film the way he had with Wonder Woman; It’s also why Joss Whedon never, ever went out of his way to publicly associate himself with the film, and why the studio reciprocated by not making a bigger deal that “The director of The Avengers“ had a hand in creating the final cut- something that may have been a decent selling point to get MCU fans to cross over and check out DC’s latest.
I remember speaking to an insider in the weeks following Justice League‘s release and them saying they “expected this.” While they conceded the fallout was, perhaps, a bit worse than anticipated, they knew that this thing was going to be a bump in the road. The studio just didn’t want to spend another dime on the film, considering all the effort that had gone into it already. They wanted to simply get it out there, get it over with, and move on to the next phase of DCU films which would act as a distinct course correction.
It’s the only justification for why it wasn’t delayed. The only explanation. Because no studio that’s confident about a project trots out a film where the first thing you see is this:
Now, many of you probably already figured this out. Either that, or you’re very smart and have been listening to the El Fanboy Podcast (which will be celebrating its one year anniversary in a couple of weeks!), so you were in-the-know. But what you may not have done by now is connect this knowledge to how the studio viewed the box office returns.
That’s an incredibly important filter to look at this situation through, because it explains everything that’s to come.
They Think JUSTICE LEAGUE Stumbled Out of Gate Because of BvS, Not Because of The Movie Itself.
That may sound crazy, but it’s true. The numbers don’t lie. Had the film opened big and then dipped like crazy, then it’s the movie itself that’s to blame. Because that means that a ton of people saw it, didn’t like it, told others not to bother, and then it tumbled from that point on (which is exactly what happened with BvS). But when a movie opens poorly, it’s because of pre-existing conditions.
And what were Justice League‘s pre-existing conditions? It was a direct follow-up to Batman v Superman, it had Zack Snyder’s name on it (which isn’t a knock on him, he’s just never been someone that the mainstream has embraced), and the latter portion of its promotional campaign heavily featured a villain in Steppenwolf that reminded them of things they’d rather forget (visually, Steppenwolf looked like he was cut from the same cloth as Suicide Squad‘s Incubus and Wonder Woman‘s Ares).
So in the studio’s eyes, the film’s box office struggles had more to do with the baggage it brought with it than with the film itself. And they’ve got data on their side to back that up. Here’s what Forbes pointed out about Justice League in a mid-December report:
“To wit, the Zack Snyder/Joss Whedon film has earned $212.88 million in 25 days of domestic release, already achieving a 2.27x multiplier. That’s already larger tied with Man of Steel and larger than Dawn of Justice and the various Twilight sequels. And it should have no problem being leggier than Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part I (2.36x).”
And the writer of that report was correct about that final assertion, as Justice League seems to be finishing up with a multiplier of roughly 2.44x. So the film had very decent legs, which speaks to the fact that mainstream audiences actually took to the film once they gave it a chance. The only negative here is that it didn’t start higher and, as I pointed out, it didn’t start higher because its predecessors had already somewhat poisoned the well.
That’s why, all things considered, no one at Warner Bros/DC Entertainment is actually panicking about Justice League‘s performance. In an odd way, they’re fine with it! Considering the new regime (Geoff Johns/John Berg/Diane Nelson) essentially inherited this problematic film, and the newer regime (Johns/Walter Hamada/Nelson) was already intent on pushing forth in a new direction anyway, the fact that Justice League could very well break even once it arrives on home video means they kind of “got away” with it.
That’s why their future should really come as no surprise…
They Already Told You What Was Coming, And They’re Sticking To It!
So many have questioned “What’re they going to do now?” since Justice League arrived. Some have speculated that they’re just going to “blow up” the DCU; Others have made bold proclamations that we’ll “Never see Henry Cavill as Superman again!“; and others, still, think they’re going to abandon ship and start over again. And yet, to anyone paying attention, it’s actually been business as usual.
In fact, they already told us back in September what they were going to do, and they’re sticking to it. Why? Because they knew what was coming with Justice League and they were fully prepared to “take the L” and move on. If you need a reminder of where they’re heading, it all goes back to what Johns and Nelson told Vulture nearly two months before JL came out.
- They were going to loosen the connectivity of their shared universe
- Emphasize stories that can stand on their own, the same way Wonder Woman did, while still maintaining that it is a shared universe
- Go back to being filmmaker-driven, giving each director ample creative freedom to explore their legendary characters as they see fit
- Rebrand the DCU as being a place for “Heart, Humor, & Heroics“
And that’s still the plan. Don’t read so much into some of the reported “changes” at DC Entertainment. The biggest thing is the exit of Berg, but even the report that outlined his transition to a different production team mentioned that it was already in the works six months prior to Justice League‘s arrival. While there are some behind-the-scenes who didn’t appreciate that the studio was publicly acting like Geoff Johns was part of the problem, I’ve always stated that DC’s Chief Creative Officer was always destined to be more of a general advisor anyway since there’s no room for a Kevin Feige-esque “boss” in a filmmaker-driven system.
If you look at their upcoming slate of films, it’s plain to see that they’re not flinching at all after Justice League. We’re still getting Aquaman (which proceeded totally as planned while Justice League was getting reworked), Shazam! (with a Henry Cavill Superman appearance), Wonder Woman 2, Suicide Squad 2, Flashpoint, The Batman, and- eventually- Man of Steel 2 and Nightwing.
So you tell me: Does this seem like a studio that’s “licking its wounds” from Justice League?
The only real casualties here are any films that aren’t safe bets. As outlined in the last Revenge Report, Warner Bros. had around 21 DC titles in some stage of incubation. It’s safe to say that many of those are going to evaporate into thin air as the studio focuses on things they know will work. Had Justice League overcome its baggage, did insanely great numbers and showed that people will buy a ticket for anything based on a DC Comics property, then perhaps they would’ve felt emboldened to proceed with films about lesser known characters in the immediate future.
But that didn’t happen, so safe bets it is.
How Can They Be So Confident?
You’ve got to admit that there’s a defiant confidence in all of this. To some, it looks like insanity to give the current continuity this much rope to potentially hang itself with. After all, this is the same studio that pulled the plug on Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns sequel, which would’ve led towards a Batman vs Superman movie featuring Christian Bale and Brandon Routh. SR, mind you, made $280 Million domestically when adjusted for inflation. That trounces Justice League‘s $228 Million.
So where does this bravado to proceed come from? Two words: Wonder. Woman.
The Patty Jenkins-directed Wonder Woman proved to WB/DC that all audiences need is a great movie, and they’ll show up for it. That film did amazing numbers, was loved by fans and critics alike, and became the template for all future DCU films. This was all in spite of the fact that it came directly after two films that left the franchise bruised in the eyes of the general public- BvS and Suicide Squad.
They even see it in their primary rival, Marvel Studios. Not every MCU film is received like the egg of a golden goose. Yet Marvel always bounces back by producing another film that captures everyone’s attention in a positive way and does incredible numbers. Take Ant-Man. The $513M film was sandwiched by Age of Ultron ($1.4 Billion) and Civil War ($1.1 Billion), and yet Ant-Man wasn’t considered a failure by any stretch.
Beyond Marvel Studios, even Fox has proven the “All audiences care about is good movies” mantra. You need not look farther than Deadpool for proof of that. That film, on paper, had very little reason to succeed. It was a pseudo-reboot/sequel to the horrid X-Men Origins: Wolverine by way of having Ryan Reynolds back as Wade Wilson. It was made by an unknown rookie director, with a budget that’s almost laughable by modern blockbuster standards ($69 Million), it’s loosely linked to the very hit-or-miss X-Men series, it’s based on a character that’s got more of a niche cult following, and it was rated R!
And it made history!
Yet none of that history affected X-Men: Apocalypse in a positive way when it was released mere months later. Kinda like Wonder Woman and Justice League, right?
WB/DC sees things like this and knows that audiences only care about whether or not a movie looks good to them. So they know that Aquaman could be a hit on the level of Wonder Woman, thus wiping the slate clean of Justice League‘s residue just as WW had done to BvS/SS, if they give director James Wan what he needs to make it fantastic. The same can be said of every other DC film to follow.
So this isn’t foolhardy, as my friends at Batman-On-Film would have you believe (Sorry Bill and Rick!). This is confidence, and it’s confidence based on data. They just know that “If we give them good movies, they’ll come regardless of whether or not it’s interconnected or loosely connected to the shared universe. All they want are good movies!”
Which brings us to the final part in all of this, and it’s something that’ll sting a portion of the DCU fanbase.
Nothing I’ve heard in my off-the-record conversations with people at Warner Bros., and nothing about the direction they’re obviously heading in now, reflects even a hint of regret about all of the tinkering they did on Snyder’s Justice League. As I’ve stated before, after Man of Steel was divisive and Batman v Superman underperformed, the studio simply stopped trusting in his vision. And when they saw his initial cut of Justice League in early 2017, that only cemented their belief that he was no longer the man on whose shoulders they could rest the DCU upon. That’s precisely why they called in outside help and hijacked the movie.
To paraphrase a line from Batman v Superman: “Snyder’s DC is dead. And WB is burying it.”
I know that hurts for some of you. And I truly do empathize. I’ve been in your position before, wanting them to continue with an approach I believed in, only to see the studio move on. It stinks, and- if you’re an emotional guy like me- it hurts in an irrationally personal way. So I get it. I really, truly do.
So What Did They Learn From All This?
- They learned to be mindful who you entrust these Holy Grail characters to
- Don’t announce a slate of films and then work backwards from there, since the slate they announced in 2014 really amounted to a bunch Wishful Thinking
- Give the directors/writers the time needed to create truly great films, instead of piling deadlines on top of deadlines like they did by scheduling Justice League to start filming a mere 3 weeks after BvS came out.
- The fact that Wonder Woman was made in way where none of it hinged directly on what was going on in BvS and JL gave Jenkins and her team tons of space with which to create something special
- You can’t simply mash a bunch of well-known characters together and expect Avengers dollars
- Keep the budgets reasonable (something Walter Hamada is good at, seeing as how he comes from the horror genre, where they know how to get a lot out of a little)! Wonder Woman only cost $149 Million to make and it’s their most profitable film, by far.
With all of these lessons learned, I’m- dare I say it?– optimistic about the DCU’s future. And I think you should be, too.
As Justice League‘s run now comes to its peaceful end, let’s look to the future with open arms, hearts, and minds. Filmmakers like James Wan, Patty Jenkins, Matt Reeves, and more are going to work their hardest to reward your patience and your optimism, with a studio behind them that’s just going to let them do what they do best. Who could ask for more than that?
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56 thoughts on “REVENGE REPORT: “Justice League- Fallout: What Did WB Learn? What’s DC’s Future?””
The biggest reason why everything went to hell is because they gave Zack Snyder full creative control over the DCEU, and when it became apparent his vision simply wasn’t working, they tried to course-correct with the projects he still had in the works, particularly Justice League, and the results were predictable: A total mish-mash of visions and styles.
The other thing that happened was Wonder Woman, the first film to not have Snyder’s stamp on it, and it performed above and beyond expectation, so the desire to course-correct with Justice League became even more imperative.
By the time the reaction came to BvS, it was already too late. They may have felt it would underperform, but reacting without seeing a release would have been really knee jerk. While reviews were terrible, opening weekend was excellent. The film opening to over $400M when you combine domestic and foreign.
Yet Weekend #2 told the whole story with a nearly 70% plunge. Production for JL was due to ramp up only weeks later, IIRC. Too late to scrap it. Too late to really move it. So they tried to course correct on the fly with the same creative team that got it wrong in the first place.
Most of it does stem from how they went about creating this universe and basically forcing a fast progression to catch up with Marvel.
I believe that WW’s success gave WB the license to jettison Zack Snyder, and Mario makes that point clearly here. In the end, this is art in the service of business, not the other way around, and WB acknowledging that DCU movies don’t have to have Zack Snyder’s imprint on them to do well is what sealed his fate. Zack will be back in the WB playground, because he’s made money for them. But will he ever be given the keys to the Ferrari again? Doubtful.
You wrote that Wonder Woman was the first film to not have Snyder’s stamp on it, but if you check WW’s Wikipedia or IMDB page you will notice that Zack Snyder has both co-producer and co-writer credits! He also cast Gal Gadot in the role (for Batman v Superman), and he is in the behind-the-scenes documentaries on the WW Blu-ray, as far as I remember.
Snyder was fairly involved in WW’s production, even though Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot should receive the primary acclaim for that film’s incredible success. 🙂
The reason Snyder had those credits was because of the creative position he was in with DC/WB at the time. He cast Gal Gadot and may or may not had something to do with the story concept. But in terms of the actual making of the movie, nope – he was nowhere near it.
If you want proof, check out the outfits the Amazons wore in Wonder Woman, and compare them to what they wore in Justice League. Much more skin on display in Zack’s vision as opposed to Patty Jenkins.
They give him control,because he made a success with Man of Steel.And they really wanted to make the DCEU a reality,even before the MCU existed.They only realized what they done.When BvS was released.
Man of Steel wasn’t a failure, but it certainly wasn’t a success either. However, WB was slow to make the connection that it had to do with Snyder’s approach. He had had a successful relationship with the studio up to that point, and WB is a studio that prizes long-term relationships with filmmakers (Eastwood, Kubrick, and Affleck was considered in this way) so they stayed with him. After BvsS came out, that’s when the alarm bells started to go off for them.
I felt most of this at the time. JL was a moderate disappointment based on adjusted expectations. I have a feeling that WB had hoped it would clear $700M globally, but I highly doubt they felt it would get anywhere near $1B considering the history of the project.
The film will end up making money over the long run when you consider the box office, rentals, licensing, digital and retail purchases, etc. It won’t make a ton, but I doubt it will really lose them money either. The incredible success of Wonder Woman gave them some breathing room. Let’s also not forget that Suicide Squad, though poorly received by critics, managed to also do VERY well at the box office.
They had already course corrected. As you said, a successful Aquaman will put this all in the past. If Shazam! follows and has great success, JL and BvS will be afterthoughts and the overall brand will be in good shape.
Then it becomes about getting Batman and Superman right.
Sorry but I’m still expecting this whole thing to blow up in WB’s face…again. I have serious doubts that Aquaman will be a hit ala Wonder Woman. The movie might be good but I don’t think the people are interested in Momoa (who’s pretty much box office poison btw same with Amber Heard) and who’s look is WAY too Snydery.
I think Wonder Woman was a fluke and if I’m right about Aquaman not working then WB will rue the day they didn’t just scrap the thing and start over. If I’m David Sanberg I want nothing to do with Snyder’s Superman.
The DCEU is toxic and needs to go. The more they try to course correct the deeper hole they’ll dig for themselves.
You are an idiot. Doing that would really start the clickbait and be seen as giving up. They have to gather all people trust again. Rebooting is suicide. JL was the reboot and its very enjoyable. Hell its DCU first movie to make 100 million in china too. These actors are perfect too. The franchise is on 3.8 billion dollars from 5 Movies in ticket sales alone. You are a lost cause
I’d like to remind you that the posting rules here include “Be respectful.”
Feel free to disagree. But name-calling will not be tolerated.
Rebooting worked for Batman after Batman and Robin. It worked after TAS movies too.
You are talking about a Spider-Man in the precious MCU. If he had been outside it then it would have failed. BB didnt even make 400 million WW. Batman Nolan trilogy was helped by the untimely Death of Ledger.
You really have no clue what you are talking about. More reboots have failed than succeeded. You realize they have to recast Everyone. Thats completely bonkers. All it takes is one good movie and they are back on track.
Reboots in superhero movies can work. Batman Begins made 400M becasue it was coming off the god awful Batman and Robin. But here’s the thing, people LOVED it. And it’s sequel popped. Yes Ledger’s death helped with the hype but the movie was so good it poppedThat’s why Rises made 1B too. It’s all about perception with the audience.
If Aquaman doesn’t work that means people view it in the same line as BvS which led to JL’s vast under performing . We will see what happens, with Aquamaan. Wonder Woman was ligtning in a bottle and had the novelty of being the first female major superhero movie in the modern era. Aquaman won’t have that. Hell Black Panther is finna be HUGE as the first black superhero movie, because of the novelty
To me it sounds like you want it to fail. Instead if wishing it will not. Warner has done amazing Movies TDK trilogy, MoS, WW, It, Conjuring franchise, Departed the list goes on and on. Probably the studio with the biggest hits and Cult hits and here you are talking nonsense. SMH. Aquaman has Wan. Shazam has Sandberg both extremely talented.
I don’t have much faith in the current regime at WB to pull this off and I don’t have much faith in this current version of the DCEU.
They have 5 movies and only 1 is a flat out hit. SS, BvS and JL were trash and MOS was “meh” take it or leave it.
That type of track record doesn’t inspire confidence. And I’m very skeptical about Aquaman’s chances. I had faith that WW would be serviceable. I thought it would be the first FRESH DCEU movie and was right, but that movie blew me away and was crazy successful, well deserved. But then JL came out and that was trash. So we shall see. Can WB make another good movie? We’ll see
Aquaman has the novelty of having an underwater world.
Oh i am very optimistic too. Now we just need that MoS sequel news and extending contracts for Cavill and the key actors that introduced us to DCU in MoS
WB has a share in the blame for JL’s performance too. With the success of WW, the marketing should have emphasized her much more. The trailers sucked with their rock music which made the movie seem small and unimportant. The posters were were bland with lame taglines. The studio may have known the movie will not do well, but the marketing did no the movie no favors.
And then there was the bizarre decision to not have Superman in any of the posters. Like we didn’t know Superman would be in it and we were supposed to be surprised when he showed up in the movie.
I don’ think that was much of a problem, had they revelaed Superman many people would be saying they ruined the “moment” for them even if they knew he was there. If you can’t sell a movie with Batman and Wonder Woman in it you have other issues rather than showcasing another character
I am hopeful for the DCEU, but I am still severely concerned about The Flashpoint they will attempt to make. That story just depends on so many factors that any attempt that does not incorporate any of those elements will be a loss for all.
I thought they shelved Joss Whedon because of the accusation from his ex, in a #metoo world.
Nobody cares if Joss Whedon had affairs.
Jenny, headline “JL director uses position of power to exploit young actresses”
and imagine you have follow up headlines in October like “JL director denies exploitation of young women” “JL director denies xyz” in the press junkets leading up to JL.
Nobody cares if Joss Whedon had affairs.
Looks like you’re confusing affairs with exploitation of young women, and copying and pasting. Bye.
Do you know these women and their ages or are you just going on the scraps you’ve read? And yes, unless otherwise stated, they were affairs between consenting adults.
All she really accused him of is cheating. Hollywood is full of cheaters, so that won’t affect him.
It was also about abuse of power/position.
That’s an interpretation of it, sure.
But as far as I know, none of the woman he cheated with have come out against him. So all we really know is that he had a bunch of affairs.
That doesn’t make him awesome. But it doesn’t lump him into the Me Too stuff either. Contrary to the misguided popular opinion.
The narrative at the time I saw were “fake feminists” or using position of power to exploit young actresses…and his biggest fan site shut down because of the accusation. I’m not sure in a headline driven world how “JL director exploits young actressess” would affect the GA’s perception to the film, especially, painfully, a bunch of headlines (rightly or wrongly) already were going like “JL’s Affleck accused of groping” followed by “JL’s Momoa apologizes for rape comments” I actually had to explain Jason’s apology from 6 years ago to my friend he was jumping up and down about it lol.
Yes it does sound that way. Green Lantern Corp. is nowhere to be found. Based off this information, Joss Whedon’s Batgirl is dead. They’ve moved on from Cyborg the movie it looks like. Man of Steel 2 sounds like far from a sure thing at this point.
And then what about all the other reported plans on The Joker film produced by Martin Scorsese? What about Gotham City Sirens and Harley Quinn? It sounds like there isn’t a unified vision. Not to mention all the personnel changes with the decision makers at the top. I recall when Jon Berg was ushered it, some called it a major move to right the ship and they were taking back control and fixing the DC cinematic brand. Berg was in and out of there relatively quickly.
Studios get lots of ideas pitched at them. Then they filter out which ones seem most viable. So merely because a movie is pitched and websites announce the pitch doesn’t mean that the movie was ever going to be made. All it means is someone had a idea they proposed to the studio.
Sounds like you are describing Man of Steel 2.
Or Booster Gold. Or Shazam. Or Cyborg. Or Nightwing.
My point is this. I will believe Man of Steel 2 is real when it’s got an actual release date and it’s in front of cameras.
[…] Revenge of the Fans claims – via insiders – that Warner Bros knew all along this would happen, but they weren’t […]
I was an unabashed fan of the Snyder approach to these properties (including Wonder Woman which, despite him not directing it, has his fingerprints all over it (including a writing credit)). I despise—DESPISE—Geoff Johns’ approach to these characters. Snyder is an artist. Johns is a no-talent hack. WB has decided to follow the lead of the hack.
WB has chosen the direction they’d like to go with these properties, which is their prerogative. But as a consumer (as well as a lifelong DC fan), I am also free to move on and ignore everything they do from here on out. So that’s what I’m doing. I certainly hope for their sakes (and their year-end bonuses’ sakes) that they’re able to attract enough new fans with this new approach to make up for all the fans like me who are abandoning them and not looking back.
Good riddance to them.
For me Johns is great comic book writer (The Last Son of Krypton on my top 10 list) and he made very good job back then were TV Arrow and Flash started not to mention of second part of Smalville series. But from other sources appears that he was upset to not been much more included in developement of Green Lantern movie and MoS. Like he wanted to be more like Kevin Feige. He was the one to brought Whedon to rewrite JL and then rooting for him to make wider reshots. Also he is the guy who create new 52 and then come up with idea of Rebirth whcih was risky but in the end excelent idea, yet his view on deconstructing comic stories from the `80-es like The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen shows that he dont exacly know how Deconstruction operates and he practically thinks that Deconstruction=Dark and Gritty realism. I Think he needs to watch some Anime.
[…] Source: Revenge of the Fans […]
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The assumption in the fan press is that Snyder delivered a subpar first cut of his film and that is why WB demanded the reshoots. My guess all along (and it seems to be backed up by this article to a certain extent) is that there was nothing wrong with the quality of what Snyder delivered. It just wasn’t what WB wanted. My guess is that it was a quality film in line with MoS and BvS, whereas WB wanted something more like The Avengers.
WB should have stood by their filmmaker and let him complete his trilogy. Let it serve as a conclusion to the story that the fans of that series were already invested. After that, they could move in any direction they wanted with these properties. Instead, we got a film that pleased almost no one and has alienated the core fan base that has stuck by DC films all along, while at the same time giving the irritated faction of the audience that wanted a new direction a terrible film that didn’t please them either. Instead of upsetting one contingent of the audience in an attempt to please another contingent, they ended up alienating everyone. Terrible, terrible business management.
Again, good riddance to them.
Young really don’t get it. Snyder JL was a movie in 2 parts and had so little Superman in it. They had to take action. We the fans are Happy to get rid of the Snyder cult. They are just as bad as the trolls on social media poluting stuff
My guess is that Justice League was crap, just like Batman v Superman, and when Warner Bros saw what he was doing they stepped in and said enough is enough.
I agree with you completely. Warner Bros should have released the “Snyder cut” of Justice League so that the DCEU’s fans could have a satisfactory conclusion to Snyder’s trilogy. I suspect that if WB had taken such a course of action, the “Snyder cut” fans wouldn’t have cared so much if the later films were made in a different style.
Personally speaking, I never expected that Zack Snyder would direct every single movie in the DC cinematic universe (or that any non-Snyder movies would copy his directorial style). I would have been very happy for other types of DC fans to receive some films designed for their tastes in superhero movies. The only thing I expected was that the movies I like wouldn’t be hacked to pieces in editing, with the tone of the story completely altered via reshoots and a whole new musical score.
I can’t help but wonder whether WB spent good money in order to deliberately sabotage their own movie, for whatever reason. I have wondered about this ever since seeing the result of some of the reshoots, like the infamous opening scene with Superman’s CGI lip. Any sensible studio executive would have ordered that scene to be excised, because it is not important enough to the story to be worth keeping. The very fact that the scene WASN’T removed makes me suspicious that we were intentionally given an awful first impression of the movie. I realise that this theory doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense, considering that WB is a business, but I struggle to explain the final cut of Justice League in any other way. Maybe some bad decisions can be explained as resulting from greed and incompetence, but the decision to keep that opening scene seems so wilful. :/
WB didn’t alienate everyone. Many fans loved/liked JL, myself included. Audience and critics approval is also higher than BvS. It has fans, I don’t know how many but it has. I can see the fanbase growing with home media because JL is such a fun movie, IMO, but only time will tell.
Exactly. Its a hugely entertaining superhero flick. What superhero flick doesnt have CGI problems. Even Last Jedi had a ton of it
This story doesn’t seem to make any sense to me. :/ Why would Warner Bros spend all of that extra money on extensive reshoots if they expected Justice League to fail?
We are being led to believe that rushing the release of the movie was some kind of clever business decision, “cutting their losses and moving on”, but since when does cutting your losses mean spending even more on a film that was already hugely expensive?
This article suggest that the “cutting their losses” explanation is the only explanation for what WB did, but is it? Maybe they actually wanted the movie to fail? That would be an even better explanation, given the facts we have (like the deliberate decision to have the movie begin a terrible shot of Henry Cavill’s uncanny valley CGI mouth). But obviously that explanation would create as many questions as it answers…
I don’t think it was their intention all along. I think somewhere during the spring and early summer, they legitimately thought they could get this thing into fighting shape. Then, as the final cut came more into focus they realized that it would take much more than a couple months of extensive post-production to get this thing to be great. At which point they decided, “Okay, we tried our best. We spent a ton. It is what it is. Let’s get it out there and move on.”
I don’t think there’s any justifiable reason to believe they self-sabotaged it from the start. The situation was just mishandled, and by the time people got on board who could help fix things, everything was way too far along.
And, at the very least, I think they were happy with the general tone of the final cut, and with where it placed the main characters for future movies. They didn’t feel that way about the earlier, pure-Snyder cut, so the reshoots were still worth it for them from that standpoint.
“Heart, Humor, & Heroics“
–I can do without the humor personally. I loved the tone of baman begins and wonder woman, but wouldn’t say they had humor. Comic relief sure, but let Marvel have the humor. in my opinion, DC would do well to build a sense of adventure/scope a la Indiana Jones, or Mission Impossible. BvS and JL are surprisingly claustrophobic, and Liked those more than most. But if i have to deal with humor to get more DC movies i will gladly do it!
“They Think JUSTICE LEAGUE Stumbled Out of Gate Because of BvS, Not Because of The Movie Itself.”
BINGO! I have been saying this for months! Justice League was a great movie and got good word of mouth and a good cinema score from everyone who saw it (minus the professional critics). Of everyone I personally know why saw Justice League (nearly all my friends/family), I head two people say they didn’t like it. Justice League was a winner. It got low box office numbers. What do low box office numbers mean? They mean too few people saw the film. That is NOT an indication of a bad movie, because if few went to the theater to see the film,. they wouldn’t know if it was good or bad…cause they didn’t see it!!
No, Justice League’s poor box office was without question a direct repudiation of the two films that proceeded it: Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. It was those films that drove the audience away. It’s not like people saw Justice League and hated it…they just never showed up at the theater!
Justice League is a great film and will absolutely find it’s audience when it hit’s DVD. It’s Warner Bros job now to make sure that Shazam and Batman and Wonder Woman 2 and Suicide Squad 2 and FLashpoint are all SO FRAKKIN’ GOOD that deman for a Justice League 2 builds organically.
I agree with a lot of that, Joe. I’ve had a similar experience where everyone I know who’s seen it (who isn’t a pro critic or a Snyder Super Fan) has said the movie was good for them.
The problem, as we’ve both noted, is that not enough people actually saw it. But once they do, the issues they have aren’t with the film itself.
No, I mean the Warner Bros. that chopped about a half hour off the bloated mess that was Batman v Superman.
And Snyder was fired. He’s gone. He is no more. His family tragedy was just a cover story. That was why Whedon was brought in.
Chopped out half o movie to make it even bigger mess??
Also its been 14 days…..
Soooo….Marvel is on track to make a billion and a half dollars with the frickin’ Black Panther, while DC is losing money on the whole Justice League. Yet DC still thinks it’s best to fragment their universe.
To quote Tywin Lannister…. Madness! Madness and STUPIDITY!
Warner Bros is the problem with the DCEU. Because they make movies, they think that they know how to make comic movies, but Marvel is proving to the world that WB DOES NOT KNOW how to make comic book movies.
At this point it’s time to copy the Marvel formula wholesale and in it’s entirety, Stan Lee cameo’s and all.
The comic book people at DC should have more power over the movies, not less. That would be the best thing for the shareholders. Elsewise they should just sell it to someone who is willing to at least attempt to do it right. Netflix would probably pay 7-8 billion dollars for it.