It's safe to say that Justice League has been one of the most highly anticipated superhero movies for years, and it finally opened in theaters nationwide this past weekend. Unfortunately, its performance isn't what Warner Bros was hoping for. Critically, the movie has followed in Man of Steel's footsteps and has earned mixed reception across the board. On the commercial side of things, Justice League fared even worse. It was originally projected to open at $110 million domestically, but that estimate later decreased to $96 million. Now with the first weekend over, the numbers have been crunched, and Justice League has kicked off with an underwhelming $94 million.
While opening at $94 million would be an impressive accomplishment for many blockbusters, for Justice League, it's a disappointing performance, making it the lowest domestic opening of the DC Extended Universe entries so far. For comparison, Man of Steel opened at $116.6 million, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice at $166 million, Suicide Squad at $133.7 million and Wonder Woman earlier this year at $103 million. Justice League also didn't come anywhere close to Marvel competitor Thor: Ragnarok, which opened $122.7 million.
If there's a silver lining to all this, THR also mentioned that Justice League's international haul added up to $185.5 million, suggesting that it may have better luck with overseas audiences. Nevertheless, Justice League's budget was reportedly around $300 million, so it still has a ways to go until it breaks even, let alone makes a profit. The other big release this weekend, Stephen Chbosky's Wonder, fared much better at the box office, earning many positive reviews and making $27.1 million domestically, an impressive amount for a movie that size.
While Justice League's opening weekend doesn't bode well for its overall theatrical run, it's not expected to hit the brakes on this cinematic universe entirely. Aquaman is hitting theaters late next year, Shazam is gearing up to begin principal photography in a few months and numerous other projects are in development. However, it will be interesting to see if Justice League's commercial performance affects whether or not a direct sequel will be made. Justice League 2, previously known as Justice League Part Two, was originally scheduled for summer 2019, but it was moved off the release schedule last year, and there's been no official word on whether or to it's still moving forward. Justice League set up several plot threads to be picked up at a later date, but don't discount the possibility that Warner Bros might set aside Justice League 2 after seeing how Justice League did in favor of continuing this franchise through solo movies and other ensemble pieces.