Sluggish Batman v Superman may lead to fewer Warner Bros releases, more franchises


Even though Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has crossed the $700 million mark worldwide, analysts have suggested that the film could be a box office disappointment regardless. The movie’s budget and marketing costs mean that it may have to make $800 million just to break even, and $1 billion to be a bona fide success. When you take into account the 68% box office drop in week two, the movie’s road to $1 billion and profitability is looking more difficult.

The suits at Warner Bros are apparently making adjustments, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, this could be bad news for original properties that are not major adaptions, spin-offs, or sequels. Executives within the company and Hollywood agents have noticed that Warner Bros is greenlighting fewer original, homegrown projects and focusing more on surer IPs and franchises: superheroes, Lego movies, and the forthcoming Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

One source who does lots of business with Warners says that the studio had a bad 18 months, including expensive flops such as Jupiter Ascending, Pan, and In the Heart of the Sea. Another source says that it’s taking longer to greenlight projects at the studio.

Rumors concerning major reshoots on Suicide Squad suggest WB is trying to make adjustments to their current DC properties as well. Still, THR notes that the studio wants to maintain Zack Snyder’s vision on Justice League rather than make it appear like a copy of something else.

Warners’ approach to a shared comic book movie universe is certainly not a copy of the Marvel Cinematic Universe formula, for better or for worse. On that note, if Captain America: Civil War outperforms Batman v Superman in terms of critical response, audience response, and international box office, I wonder if WB will make additional adjustments to their future slate of superhero films, which may include a Ben Affleck Batman movie.

What do you think of this news? Will Batman v Superman cross $1 billion? Should the studio seek fewer original stories and properties? 

Share your thoughts in the comments.

[via THR]
Hubert Vigilla
Brooklyn-based fiction writer, film critic, and long-time editor and contributor for Flixist. A booster of all things passionate and idiosyncratic.