‘Batman v Superman’ WB’s Most Important Film Ever?


It’s safe to say that Batman v Superman is very, very important for both WB and DC. For the WB it’s a financial must-have and for DC it’s their last chance to set up a universe to compete with Marvel Studios before the possibility that the superhero craze collapses. Forbes Magazine goes so far as to claim BvS is WB’s most important film EVER.

Here’s the argument.

"For Warner Bros. in 2016, it’s basically all down to the success of one major film to define both the year and the long-term future of the studio, regardless of what else it has to offer to the world’s moviegoers.Let’s imagine two alternate timelines for 2015. Let’s imagine in both of them that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was released on July 17th, 2015 as originally planned, with the obvious caveat that Walt Disney’s Ant-Man opened elsewhere. Here are the two possibilities: Either Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a massive bazillion-dollar smash hit and jumpstarts the DC Cinematic Universe while the rest of Warner Bros.’ slate still stumbles to the degree we’ve seen thus far if not worse. Or, let’s pretend the opposite happens. Let’s pretend Mad Max: Fury Road makes $500 million worldwide instead of $370m, that San Andreas still makes $467m, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. makes $300m worldwide, and that the likes of The Gallows, Hot Pursuit, and Max all do a bit better. But in this Faustian bargain, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice stalls out at $550m worldwide and completely fails to capture the imagination of fans and general moviegoers. Of these two what-if scenarios, which do you think Warner Bros. would pick? I think we know the answer.Even with American Sniper earning $547 million on a $60m budget, the narrative is that Warner Bros. didn’t have any really big movies in summer of 2015, doesn’t have that many biggies for the rest of the year (Pan is an iffy proposition), and that most of the smaller-scale product somewhat disappointed. Fair or not, that entire narrative would have been changed had they been able to counter that with a successful launch of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice a month ago. The good news is that Dawn of Justice and the Harry Potter prequel are probably going to do gangbusters business to open and close the year, and that we’ll be singing Warner’s praises again by next December. The bad news, specifically in terms of those of us who want more than just big blockbusters from the major studios, is that those two tent poles are the only movies that really matter for Warner Bros. for the immediate future."

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I will have to agree that this is very, very important for the studio to get this one right. I care very little about the financial aspect considering how strange and absurd the logic to what a ‘hit’ it. I mean, Green Lantern and Superman Returns were successes, money wise. So was Batman and Robin. What I really care about is the abstract success of this franchise to keep this thing rolling.

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