The woe continues for Warner Bros with news that the ailing Justice League could lose the studio as much as $100 million.
Forbes has plumbed down into the figures for the superhero ensemble, intended to take on Marvel’s The Avengers, and a poor opening weekend – the worst ever for a DC movie – is the least of its problems.
With reshoots and a change in the movie’s director (Joss Whedon took over from Zack Snyder part way through production), the movie ended up costing an eye-watering $300 million, according to reports.
Another $150 million spend for marketing and advertising needs to be added to that, while Deadline reports that in order to make any profit whatsoever it needs to bring in between $700 million and $750 million.
However, current projections suggest that the box office take may wind up in the region of $635 million, leaving a massive potential shortfall, or at best, a break even situation.
For a movie the size, with the spending and stars involved to merely break even is a disaster, and surely begs the question as to whether we’ve hit some kind of saturation point with blockbuster superhero movies which may seem safe-ish bets on the surface, but are enormously expensive and in terms of turning a profit, actually pretty risky.
Last year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice suffered terrible reviews (rather worse than those for Justice League), but still made a profit because it coined in $873 million at the global box office.
According to Deadline, it scored a profit of $105.7 million for Warner Bros, but many analysts believed it should have been much more.
DC’s Suicide Squad did even better, costing much less to make, and pulling in $158 million in profit.
But it currently looks like Justice League may well lose its shirt.