Thursday, June 20, 2024

“Justice League” Posts Worst Showing of All Five Warner Bros/DC Comics Movies


“Justice League” has crashed and burned. The weekend box office take is hoped to be $96.8 million but that may be optimistic. It’s way off the $110 million Warner Bros. started predicting a week ago.

This installment of the DC movies now ranks lowest among “Wonder Woman” (an actual hit), “Man of Steel,” “Batman vs. Superman,” and “Suicide Squad.”

“Justice League” also has the weirdest bad luck of any of them. The director, Zack Snyder, dropped out during the filming and editing because of a personal tragedy. He was replaced by Joss Whedon.

The shooting went on so long that Henry Cavill, who plays Superman, was already growing a mustache for “Mission Impossible 6.” Not only were many of his scenes re shot anyway by Whedon, but then the mustache had to be digitally removed. Talk about paying lip service. It doesn’t look good.

Since the Batman movies began in 1989, no one has really played him well. All the different actors– from Michael Keaton to George Clooney, Val Kilmer, Christian Bale, and now Ben Affleck– have made me yearn for Adam West. Batman in all these movies seems like he needs a high colonic.

Superman was best played by Christopher Reeve, and best made by Richard Donner. Go back and look at Donner’s first two Superman movies. They were alive. “Man of Steel” is torture. “Batman vs. Superman” made no sense.

It’s pretty obvious that Patty Jenkins brought Donner’s sensibility to “Wonder Woman.” But the difference between DC and Marvel movies is simply one of light. The latter films are bright and colorful. The former are like sludge. The latter everyone looks forward to with excitement. The latter are dreaded.

Now what? I’d do a full recast except for Gal Gadot. Cavill and Ben Affleck have run their course. It’s time for a re-think.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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