Warner Bros.-DC’s costly “Justice League” misfired with a $94 million opening weekend at the North American box office — $2 million short of the studio’s estimates on Sunday.
The final result caps a disappointing domestic debut that fell far short of expectations, which had been at $110 million before “Justice League” opened on Friday at 4,051 locations. “Justice League” wound up launching with only the eighth-largest opening of 2017 and ranks as the 56th-biggest domestic launch of all time behind 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution at Warner Bros., said Sunday there were several positive signs such as a 28% hike in business from Friday to Saturday and the start of Thanksgiving vacations this week. Stakes are particularly high for Warner Bros., which hasn’t revealed the cost of “Justice League” — estimated to be as much as $300 million.
The movie is the fifth installment of its DC Extended Universe, aimed at duplicating the success of Disney-Marvel’s interconnected franchises. And it’s by far the lowest launch, trailing “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” ($166 million), “Suicide Squad” ($133 million), “Man of Steel” ($116 million), and “Wonder Woman” ($103 million).
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Gal Gadot stars as Wonder Woman along with Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as the Flash, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg. Critics have not been impressed with “Justice League,” which carries a 39% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Justice League” also grossed $185 million from 47 international territories over the weekend, led by China at $51.8 million.
The superhero tentpole will face competition on Wednesday from Disney-Pixar’s launch of the animated musical “Coco,” which has already set a record as the top grosser at the Mexican box office. “Coco” carries a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.