Justice League is one of the most powerful teams in the DC Universe. After Man of Steel, Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, WB decided to adapt JL storyline onto the big screen and buoy the amount of hype was huge.
For the first time, the greatest DC superheroes will join forces and together take on the most terrifying adversary they have ever come across ‘Steppenwolf’ who is a military general of Darkseid and is coming for all the motherboxes to restore the dark order in the world.
The movie picked up the pieces of Batman v Superman which ended with the death of Man of Steel, but the event awakened the monster called Steppenwolf. This forced Bruce Wayne aka Batman and Wonder Woman to assemble an elite team to fight him and prevent Apokoliptian motherboxes from falling into his hands.
It was supposed to mark the phase 1 of DCEU and take it to a whole another level but it fell way short of gigantic expectations. It seems like the dark clouds over Warner Bros. and the superhero shared universe of the DC Extended Universe aren’t going to go away just yet. After the humongous debacle that was the Justice League, fans were finally warming up to the franchise. As it turns out, they aren’t. Justice League is confirmed to be the lowest earning movie under the DCEU banner.
Directed by Zack Snyder and taken over midway by Joss Whedon, Justice League was Warner Bros. greatest project of the decade. And it failed spectacularly!! Justice League opened up to lackluster Box Office earnings and a sub-par critical judgment passed on for the movie didn’t help either.
The Avengers might be a copied version of the Justice League but they came first to the Hollywood arena and thus became not just the highest but the most profitable franchise the world of Hollywood has ever seen. The Avengers released in 2012 is still the fifth highest grossing movie of all time and is part of the sacred Billion Dollar club.
On the other hand, Justice League hasn’t even reached half its counterpart’s target. It wasn’t just outgunned by the MCU but also failed to grab the top spot in its own shared universe. The Justice League now stands as the lowest grossing movie of the DCEU.
Box Office Mojo has set up figures to give us a clearer picture. Man of Steel started the DCEU. It wrapped up 291 Million Dollars in the domestic box office. Justice League wrapped up its screening since the theaters in mainland USA.
Its gross earning stands at 229 Million Dollars which is a far cry from the other DCEU movies that came before it. Wonder Woman still occupies the top spot with a total of 412.5 Million Dollars and Batman vs. Superman, which was a critical failure, occupies the second place with a total grossing of 330 Million Dollars domestically.
The Justice League has underperformed; blowing away Warner Bros. hopes to bank on its success. There are still some areas where Justice League could earn the remaining 10 Million Dollars to outrun Man of Steel and occupy the last second spot but it’s a dead man’s tale to tell. So don’t expect that to happen anytime soon.
The problem with the DC Extended Universe was that it did not care to give itself a head start before swinging the team up banner right on the fans’ faces. Man of Steel and BVS were just the beginning of the franchise. Wonder Woman and Suicide Squad were loner movies, they did not brush up on the continuity much and thus the DCEU needed a bit more dots to connect before making the Justice League.
The fault lies with introducing the entire Justice League roster in a mismanaged way in BVS. The characters needed a backstory, maybe even a standalone production before Justice League. Cyborg, Flash, Aquaman and even Batman were spared that luxury. Forced reshoots and crude jokes courtesy of Joss Whedon, did not help either.
Ultimately, the movie which was supposed to be a masterpiece by Zack Snyder was destroyed by Whedon who inserted too much useless crap into an already perfect version of the movie and made it worthless in the end.
Marvel’s Avengers started off slow and built up their world from the ground up. They had a stronger foundation and were patient. Disney reaped the benefits soon after when The Avengers and even the resultant characters proved to be cash cows. Suffice it say, it is always better to play it safe when trying to build a multi-billion dollar franchise. The MCU had that luxury.
Although, none of the critics trashed the movie but they mentioned big plot inconsistencies, messy CGI, bad script and shoddy execution. But a part of the blame for this failure must be shared by WB which interfered in the important matters, for instance, the studio’s obsession with 2-hour movie led to the massive editing of top-notch work done by the creative team.
Recently, a new VFX video was released showing the amazing digital effects done by technical personnel that never made it to the final cut. Some of the stunning pieces of tech to be used by Batman and Cyborg was edited from the film. The back story of Barry Allen was significantly cut short and the whole scene where Star Labs was featured and Cyborg was created never saw the light of day.
Blind Ltd., a company that is famous for its work on the user interface for Rogue One, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy was also hired for Justice League. Their work is incredible and it’s a shame that they were not used to their full potential by WB and were never given the absolute autonomy they deserve. The DCEU was cursed by Warner Bros. meddling in its game.
The DCEU has finally found it mojo back. Aquaman is already getting the right buzz. The Shazam movie is also looking brighter and brighter by the day. The Wonder Woman sequel and the upcoming Flashpoint and Cyborg movie also point to one simple thing – Standalones will be the DCEU’s mantra now.
Aquaman will only be the beginning. The DCEU is realizing that a better foundation is needed. It will take time for them to get their groove. But when they do, don’t expect Marvel to occupy the top spot anymore. But if you still have not seen Justice League, do watch it at least once. There were surely moments of brilliance and all the superhero characters did a fine job.
Justice League movie is directed by Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon who took over the reins after Snyder left midway due to personal tragedy. The story is written by Chris Terrio based on the characters of DC comics. The movie had a strong ensemble cast including Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill), Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Wonder-woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Mamoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), Jeremy Irons (Alfred), Diane Lane (Martha Kent), J.K. Simmons (Commissioner Gordon).
Here is the official synopsis released by DC and WB:
“In Justice League, fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of meta-humans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions”.
“Once again, Wonder Woman must demonstrate her ability as a fierce warrior. Facing a great enemy, she and Batman join forces to recruit a group of meta-humans to stand against this newly awakened threat. Having formed an unprecedented League of heroes, they set out to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.”