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Entertainment Weekly


Justice League stumbles with a $38.8 million Friday box office

Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Comics

Posted on

The opening day box office numbers for Justice League have hit the airwaves, proving that audiences are going to see the DC superhero team-up no matter what the critics say. But Warner Bros.’ answer to Disney’s The Avengers isn’t off to the best start.

Justice League opened in U.S. theaters with $13 million from Thursday night screenings, surpassing the $11 million Wonder Woman made from its respective pre-shows. By Friday, the film’s domestic total reached $38.8 million. Again, the film did slightly better than Wonder Woman‘s $38.2 million Friday gross, but it doesn’t bode incredibly well for a film that flaunts the assemblage of DC’s finest superheroes.

These early numbers put Justice League on track to reach around $94-$96 million for its entire opening weekend, less than the predicted $110 million take. For many films, this wouldn’t be an issue. For Justice League, which was quite the costly film for the studio, it’s not the best news.

Overseas, Warner Bros. took in $43.3 million from Friday night screenings, bringing its cumulative worldwide total to $109 million. Though, it’s surprising to think of a reality where Justice League makes less than $100 million domestic during its opening weekend; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice made $166 million and Suicide Squad made $133.7 million. The weekend isn’t over yet, and Thanksgiving holiday is around the corner. So perhaps more families will show up to theaters then.

Justice League, directed by Zack Snyder, fulfills the lead up from 2013’s Man of Steel to unite Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Batman (Ben Affleck), Aquaman (Jason Mamoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) on the big screen. The film was also an answer to Batman v Superman, which many fans and movie critics slammed for its dark and brooding, heavy CGI world.

Adding to a ballooning budget — which some outlets estimate to be around $300 million — Snyder departed the production, citing the death of his daughter. Joss Whedon (The Avengers) then stepped in to wrap things up, which involved extensive reshoots and Cavill’s mustache situation.

Critics, meanwhile, seemed to take to Justice League better than Batman v Superman, but still largely skewered the film. EW’s Chris Nashawaty called the effort “a pretty steep comedown from the giddy highs of Wonder Woman” and “a placeholder in a franchise that’s already had too many placeholders.”