Is Batman v Superman A Failure? It Depends On How You Look At It

Screenshot 2016-03-31 15.11.26And the answer is a firm “Maybe.”

To begin, let’s call our hypotheses, Scenario One and Two.

Scenario One is the best case; Scenario Two…not at all.

If your chief source of information is Box Office Mojo, then things can be interpreted somewhat optimistically.

According to them, the movie is budgeted at $250 million.  That’s expensive, but hardly unusual for a superhero movie of its size and ambition.

And if that happens to be the case, then it’s doing okay–but not great.  It’s so far earned $683 million ($682,587,793)–the billion that some are hoping for may seem tantalizingly close, but will likely remain out of reach because its fallen significantly in its second week–68 percent.

Though more importantly, but its honeymoon period is ending, with competition like Captain America: Civil War arriving early next month, and X-Men: Apocalypse a few weeks later (Fox is apparently confident enough in the latest X-Movie that they’re pitting it against Captain America.  This is probably not a good move, though there may be room for both).

Though in reference to Batman v Superman, its problem is one that I have mentioned before, which is while the movie has legs, they’re wobbly and uncertain, like a newly-hatched fledgling.

So if it taps out at over $800–but under a billion–I wouldn’t be shocked.

And that’s the best case.

Then there’s Scenario Two, which is a hell of a lot scarier (for Warner Bros and fans of the characters) because there are some that say Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice cost somewhere in the ballpark of $410 million!  That’s a lot of money, and if accurate (the rumor originated with Latino-Review so take that how you will) the movie is in trouble because in that case it would have to earn at least a billion just to break even.

And as I have already written, I am not at all certain that that’s going to happen.

The thing is, hard-core fans would probably say that just producing this movie, and viewers seeing such iconic characters on screen is victory enough.

Those people, I’m comfortable saying, probably aren’t Warner Bros executives.

5 thoughts on “Is Batman v Superman A Failure? It Depends On How You Look At It

  1. Honestly, no matter how much it actually cost, everything under a billion should be a disappointment for Warner Bros. You don’t invest that much in a movie to break even and get a little bit plus, you do it for the big numbers. A movie like this should make it easily in the top ten of the highest grossing movies of all time…and I doubt that it will.

    1. I agree on one level, though it’s–as least I think it is–pretty apparent that the movie is running out of steam. It started out remarkably strong, but is beginning to falter. And the thing is, when a movie starts to decline, it typically gets worse, not better.

      Where I disagree is that–if the movie was brought in somewhere in the $250 million ballpark–it’s profitable enough to begin thinking in earnest about all those spinoffs, though they’ll have to not only reign in the budgets, but the forboding, grim and murky tone Snyder seems particularly fond of has to stop because it’s devisive and alienating.

      Though what’s worse for me is that, from what we have seen so far–no one has to ‘earn’ anything in the DC Cinematic Universe. By which I mean Marvel Studios builds gradually to their greatest threats, each movie acting as a puzzle piece, taking us closer and closer to an ultimate goal.

      DC Films just DOES things. Minimal buildup, and more importantly, little reason why we should care anything about these characters.

      It’s off-putting and I wish they’d just stop and copy Marvel Studios already.

      1. I think their problem is more that they are too afraid to copy Marvel, so they do the opposite. Marvel build up to The Avengers, they want their Justice League now. Marvel has supposedly a villain problem (a notion I don’t agree with, but whatever), they make their villains overly complicated. Marvel is colourful (even in their Netflix shows), they go grey. They have a better idea of what they don’t want in their movies than what they actually want.
        I have no issues with them starting with the team-ups. Why not, Guardian of the Galaxy and Big Hero 6 are both Team-up movies which work just fine. I have no issue with them trying to be deep and serious – as long as they actually pull it off and don’t create a movie which is an equivalent to a three year old who feels smart because he has finally managed to tie his shoes.
        In the end, they need to sit down and decide where exactly they want to go…but step by step. They should have learned from Sony in this regard. And they need to get rid of Snyder. He simply doesn’t understand the characters he is dealing with.

        And concerning the box-office: I think it is obvious that Warner Bros left a lot of money on the table with this one. Can you imagine how well it would have done if the reviews had been positive?

      2. I agree with a lot of what you’ve written, though the problem with team-ups, especially with characters that no one has heard of, is that they’re inherently risky.

        Remember, Guardians of the Galaxy looks like a home run in hindsight, but that movie was big-time risky. Let’s not forget that it was anchored by a CGI raccoon–and if that weren’t weird enough–a CGI walking tree!

        And it was a success.

        The reason being–in my humble opinion–Marvel Studios isn’t afraid to take a chance, though more importantly they don’t forget that a well-told story has interesting and engaging characters and goes a long way toward carrying your audience with you.

        Because–what DC Films don’t seem to understand–is that you can have seriousness of tone, WITH humor, without your movie turning into a comedy.

        Marvel has literally–despite what detractors may say–never made a comedy.

        What they have done is make movies that are for the most part accessible to more viewers that are each in their own ways triumphant and dare I say it, fun.

        It’s not a bad thing.

      3. It certainly isn’t. You have to respect Marvel for keeping their Universe fresh and interesting. Plus, if you really want dark and gritty, you can get that too from Marvel. Each of the Netflix shows have done that way better than Warner bros so far. And due to the fact that it dips into political genres, the Captain America Franchise is way more serious and relevant than some people want to admit it. Sure, Marvel has also their Gotg, which are simply a fun romp (and basically what a green lantern movie should be). But they are also no afraid to turn their movies into smart commentaries.

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