It's hard to believe that it's been little over a month since the release of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. In such a short time from then until now, we've had the public backlash, reports of Zack Snyder and Warner Bros. clashing over Justice League, and the news that The Flash director Seth Grahame-Smith has walked, citing 'creative differences'. And this isn't even taking into consideration all of the events currently going on at Marvel, from the anticipation and release of Captain America: Civil War to the build-up to this month's X-Men: Apocalypse. Although many of you reading will have moved on from DC's latest offering, there's no better time than now to reflect on how Batman v. Superman has fared in its first month of public exhibition.
Before the review embargo was lifted for critics, the first reactions of the film we received was that of fans lucky enough to get into early screenings, and it's safe to say that the reception was mostly glowing:
But, as the rose-tint of fan reviews wore off and the critics got their opinions out, reception for this film fell greatly. Currently residing on 28% on Rotten Tomatoes and 44% on Metacritic, critics tore into the film's glaring plot holes, imbalances and bloated storytelling, and it seems to have had an effect on the film's box office performance. Reports suggested that Warner Bros. were projecting around $170 million for the film's opening weekend, though it only managed to take $166 million. Despite missing this target, this was by no means a bad gross: substantially higher than Man of Steel's $116 million opening, and breaking the record for highest March opening weekend. Regardless of this impressive première, as word spread of the film's disappointing nature, it suffered massively, with a 69% drop in its second week.
Aside from the box-office figures, it's clear that people weren't especially happy with this film, least of all the bosses at Warner Brothers. They have remained faithful with Zack Snyder, still permitting him to direct both parts of the upcoming Justice League, but rumours have been circulating in the past week of clashes between studio and director over Snyder's vision for the film. The impact of Dawn of Justice's disappointment haven't only impacted Justice League: rumours (since proven wrong) circulated claiming that Suicide Squad was undergoing emergency reshoots to add some humour to the film, and director of the upcoming Flash film, Seth Grahame-Smith, has been confirmed to have left the project, citing creative differences. The impact this will have on the film's release is unclear, but the issues with Justice League and The Flash may suggest that Warner Brothers want more creative control over the DC Cinematic Universe than the directors are willing to put up with.
Just over a month on, and Batman v. Superman feels like a distant memory. Despite its underwhelming box-office performance and disappointed response from critics, it's been clear from the very beginning that this was a film for the fans, and from browsing DC fanpages, it seems that they were pretty satisfied. On the topic of its box office performance, it's still the third highest-grossing DC film so far, and is positioned as the sixth highest grossing film of the past year domestically. So, although it didn't hit its projections, it was by no means a flop. Its overarching effect over the DC film slate will become clearer when Suicide Squad is released this August, giving us something we can really compare it to financially and critically, but despite the poor reaction, Warner Brothers will by no means halt their aim to bring the characters of DC Comics to life.
What did you think of the film? Would you class it as a failure or success, and do you think its performance will affect the DCCU? As always, be sure to leave a comment because I'll always reply, and feel free to follow us for more articles like this! Thanks for reading!