The League before the final battle

Today marks one week since Zack Snyder's Justice League finally arrived in theaters, and we haven't stopped dissecting and discussing every frame from the DC blockbuster. While the critical reception for the film has been a bit mixed (although far better than Batman v Superman), the real focus of Justice League's success will be measured in dollars. With the opening domestic box office bringing in a bit less money than originally anticipated, the focus has now shifted to the film's performance in international markets. And the DCEU may have just gotten some good news, as Justice League has made a ton of money during its first week in China.

This news comes to us from the LA Times, which reports that Justice League made a whopping $52 million last week. This is a major victory for both the film and the shared universe, which seem to be in constant jeopardy. But money speaks louder than reviews, so Justice League's international performance may be what it takes for the film to be considered a success for the DCEU.

The pressure was certainly on Justice League ahead of its release. Because although Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman was a major critical success, it's the only installment in the DCEU that has fared well in regards to reviews. Justice League also had the lofty task of introducing a ton of new characters, settings, and superheroes into the shared universe. So it seemed like the film's success would dictate the future of the DCEU, and which projects end up going from the development stage to actual production.

DC's version of a shared universe is functioning quite differently from the MCU. Rather than a concrete release schedule being released years in advance, the DCEU only has a few films that are moving into production anytime soon. James Wan's Aquaman will arrive in a year's time as the DCEU's next installment, followed by Shazam and Wonder Woman's sequel in 2019. But most of the announced projects haven't been given release dates, putting a question into whether or not they'll actually ever be produced. If Justice League was as loathed by fans as Batman v Superman, it had the potential to kill the shared universe before it ever got started.

But now that that Justice League's international performance is helping to make up for some of its domestic missteps, we should expect plenty of more superhero films in the future. Although it is certainly a risk to wait a full year before releasing a new installment, especially with the MCU's habit of releasing new blockbusters every few months. It should be interesting to see how DC attempts to keep fans' attention over the next 365 days or so.

Justice League is in theaters now. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

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