Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has to be one of the most, if not the most, highly anticipated superhero movies of the year. Promotion for the superhero epic has been getting more and more impressive, and the anticipation has been built extremely well over the course of the last couple of months. However, there are some reports that indicate the fate of this film may be very similar to what Zack Snyder’s previous effort, Man of Steel, ended up going through.
Drew McWeeny over at HitFlix spoke with Roth Cornet about some of the behind-the-scenes “turmoil” that seems to be going down at Warner Bros. over Batman v Superman and how audiences will receive it.
“Warner is a little bit worried. This movie is starting to scare them. It’s scaring them because they’re showing it to people now, people are actually laying eyes on the film now, and the response has not been what I think they wanted.”
That Batman v Superman is just as divisive as Man of Steel is quite troubling to hear if all of this is true. 2013’s Man of Steel rebooted the character of Superman, and while some comic book fans loved it, along with some of the general audience, the film also received a lot of criticism and mixed reviews. Some felt that the character himself was a bit too dark, the film’s tone maybe a bit too pessimistic, and the collateral damage in the third act caused a lot of conversation online. Warner Bros. wanted the film to be a $1 billion hit at the box office, understandably, but Man of Steel only managed to bring in $668,045,518 worldwide, while only making $291 million domestically.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a narrative that sets up an impending battle between the two biggest superheroes of all time, should be able to break $1 billion at the worldwide box office, and it would be tragically disappointing if the film failed to do so. McWeeny ultimately suggests that Batman v Superman is not the monstrous hit WB wants it to be.
“My guess is what’s going to happen is based on what I’m hearing… I’ve talked to enough people who have seen the film now that I’m starting to sweat a little, is Justice League is going to get moved back and that Ben Affleck Batman movie, that’s what’s going to end up in that spot. My guess is they’re going to throw whatever money it takes at Ben Affleck to make that Batman film happen sooner rather than later. They’re going to need to rebuild again, they’re going to need to win people over, they’re going to need to lay some different groundwork. I don’t think this is going to be the springboard into the Justice League that they wanted it to be.”
Mario-Francisco Robles at Latino-Review suggests that the word “worried” isn’t quite accurate. The studio is more nervous than anything else, which, with a film such as this, is completely normal and to be expected. But a source claims that the movie is not a universal crowd-pleaser, and it really is made for the hardcore comic book fans. And if this is true, this is not the absolute worst bit of news to be hearing right now. It sounds as if Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice isn’t a terrible movie, but the comparison to Man of Steel is very troubling, considering how much money MoS ultimately made at the box office, both domestically and internationally.
According to an algorithm created by computer scientists, as odd and random as it may seem, Batman v Superman may only have a 32 percent chance of being profitable when it opens in March. Their algorithm analyzes directors, casts, the films budget, and the date of release, along with other factors, to determine if studio execs can expect a profit on their investment. This recent bit of information certainly doesn’t help.
The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer released in December of 2015 showcased a lot of fantastic footage and imagery. But towards the end of the trailer, fans were left a bit confused and even disappointed in what they saw. The tension between Clark Kent/Superman and Bruce Wayne/Batman was crafted perfectly in the first half of the trailer. However, the focus of the trailer moved away from the Batman v Superman template everybody was used to and instead introduced Wonder Woman, showing her working with Batman and Superman – thus already demonstrating that the beef between the two doesn’t last. Anyone can assume this before seeing the movie, but many were disappointed that they were shown this in the trailer, along with the reveal of Doomsday.
The latest trailer, however, seems to suggest that Warner Bros. picked up on the mixed criticism of the previous trailer. The narrative and focus of this trailer are placed right back on the feud between the two superheroes, while spending very little time focusing on anything else. Batman is introduced in the beginning, being completely lethal and vicious — displaying a version of Batman that we have never seen cinematically. In other words, everything improved in this trailer, and the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. This was an excellent and necessary move for the marketing of this film.
To hear that the movie may not be everything the studio wants it to be, after seeing a trailer like that can certainly knock the wind out of any fan who was anticipating this film.
Directed by Zack Snyder and starring Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Jesse Eisenberg, Gal Gadot, and Amy Adams, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens in theaters on March 25, 2016.
[Image via Warner Bros.]