How Much Money Warner Bros. Might Lose Over Justice League

Cyborg, Wonder Woman, Flash and Aquaman in Justice League

While Justice League has fared slightly better when it comes critical reception compared its predecessors Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, on the commercial side of things, the superhero team-up movie has been struggling. Justice League ended its domestic opening weekend run with an underwhelming $94 million, and as of today it's crossed the $100 million mark in the U.S. Justice League looks like its having better luck with its international run, but it exits theaters, it's possible that Warner Bros might lose between $50 million to $100 million over the movie.

According to an analysis from Forbes contributor Rob Cain, Justice League is estimated to end its domestic theatrical run with approximately $235 million, while internationally it might cap off with approximately $400 million. That adds up to $635 million total, which would make it the lowest-grossing DCEU movie released thus far. Then when taking into account that Warner Bros will keep around 52% of the domestic gross and 38% of the foreign gross, Warner Bros would be taking in around $275 million. When all is said and done after considering other things like theatrical rentals with global home entertainment, TV and fees, WB's total revenue on Justice League adds up to around $545 million, but after subtracting costs for producing the movie, marketing and more, it results in a $55 million loss, give or take. That number varies when calculating other potential expenses, but regardless, it looks like Justice League will be a major financial loss for the studio. Even if the movie were to miraculously make a $50 million profit, it would still be one of the worst-performing superhero movies of the modern era.

Warning: SPOILERS for Justice League are ahead!

Looking at these numbers, it's hard to imagine DC and Warner Bros not taking a few steps back to reexamine how to move forward with this superhero franchise. As it stands now, the DCEU isn't going anywhere for the next few years. Aquaman comes out in late 2018, Shazam will begin filming in a few months and Wonder Woman 2 is practically guaranteed given how commercially and critically successful the Amazon warrior's first movie was. That being said, Justice League's commercial performance combined with its mixed critical reception surely doesn't bode well for Justice League 2 (originally known as Justice League Part Two), which was announced as part of the initial DCEU slate, but was later moved off is 2019 release date.

Justice League certainly left enough material for a sequel, from Darkseid potentially attacking Earth himself to Lex Luthor and Deathstroke forming the Injustice League, but because the blockbuster has fared poorly at the box office, who knows if those plot threads will be picked up. Then there's the question of if DC and Warner Bros will abandon its larger movies that have wide implications on this cinematic universe in favor of focusing more on standalone stories that can be enjoyed on their own.

Make sure to check our our Justice League review, and keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on the DCEU, which will continue when Aquaman is released on December 21, 2018.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.