The DC film universe has been building toward next month's Justice League from the very beginning. Just how big will the team up actually be? The first box office estimates are now in and they show the film tracking toward a $110-$120 million opening weekend. While that number actually looks like it might be a little low, there's every indication that projections will increase the closer we get to release.
A $120 million opening would be a solid increase on the $102 million opening that Winder Woman saw earlier this year. The thing is, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opened to $160 million, and one would expect Justice League, since it's an even bigger team-up movie, to track closer to that movie. However, Deadline suggests that since we're even closer to another big superhero movie, Thor: Ragnarok, it's likely that movie is sort of stealing the...thunder (sorry) of Justice League, and once Ragnarok opens, the estimates for Justice League will jump up.
There is one x-factor in the release of Justice League and that is the timing. While holiday weekends have always been good to major blockbuster movies, Warner Bros. knows this very well thanks to the success that many of the Harry Potter films, Thanksgiving has never been the release window for a major superhero movie, so this is at least somewhat uncharted territory. Having said that, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was able to gross $160 million in its opening weekend in April so the franchise has shown that it doesn't need to be released during the summer, which has been the traditional period for superhero movies.
With Thor: Ragnarok currently tracking to open with an excess of $100 million at the domestic box office, we have every reason to believe that this $120 million number for Justice League is soft. There's no reason to expect the film to do significantly worse than Batman v Superman. Honestly, if it only does about the same, that'll be a bit surprising. Wonder Woman was a huge hit in North America, bigger than BvS in the end, and fans who want to see more of her will almost certainly be showing up for her big team up. There's every reason to believe that Justice League will be the box office winner, at least among superhero movies this year.
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Once Thor: Ragnarok arrives in theaters next week we'll begin to get a clearer picture of what's going on with Justice League. DC and Warner Bros. have a lot of projects planned for these heroes going forward, meaning that this movie is going to be big in every sense of the word.