In an 11.26 Forbes piece about the box-office performance of Justice League, you can sense that Scott Mendelson is not coming from a neutral place. He sounds like a Warner Bros. marketing guy trying to cheer up exhibitors about the viability of the DC brand. ($481 million and climbing! Yay, team!) Then again Mendelson does allude to the fact that the Justice League budget is “so big that a $600 million-plus worldwide total is cause for alarm.”
That references an 11.20 report by Forbes‘ Rob Cain that forecasts a possible $50 to $100 million loss, due to Justice League costing $300 million to make and $150M to market, which requires worldwide earnings of $750 million just to break even. ‘
Mendelson adds that “if Justice League continues to play somewhere between Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 and Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the film may just flirt with $250 million domestic, or about what Tim Burton’s Batman earned back in 1989.” Yeah, 28 years ago. But these days, the 1989 dollar is worth $1.97. Which means that by today’s yardstick, Batman‘s domestic earnings, which were actually $251,188,924, come to $494,842,180.
“Justice League is still alive, but it’s not yet well,” Mendelson concludes. “It held up just well enough to give a little hope for the next two weeks, but not well enough for anyone to pop the champagne.”
Who outside of certain cast members and Warner Bros. employees…who would want to celebrate the box-office success of Justice League? That would be like celebrating the triumph of the dark side over the rebellion.