It appears in order to salvage success at the domestic box office, Warner Bros. is toying with the idea of releasing the R rated cut of Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice to theaters, rather than direct to home video.
Many have speculated that the promise of an R rated cut on blu-ray may have hurt the legs of the film, in addition to the poor word of mouth, perhaps many waited to the see the film to see the full cut of the film. While I believe that is unlikely, odds are the people that have already seen the film once or twice are the one’s buying the R rated cut, not movie goers who were on the fence about seeing the film in theaters.
While personally I would love to see this extended more brutal cut on the big screen, it would be a calculated risk by the studio. Considering how much Warner Bros. has already spent of marketing this film one time, I don’t know if re-marketing it before a re-release is the right move. Can you imagine if this film flops twice? While many fail to see this film as a box office bomb due to it’s international gross of $784 Million, but the film has only grossed $296 million domestically. Again not bad for a film with a $250 million dollar budget, but rumors are that the studio actually spent as much as up to $150 million marketing the film for a grand total of over $400 million dollars to make this film and market it. You don’t have to be a box office expert to see that a film making less domestically than was spent on making the film is a big problem, At that point the studio risks this film, along with the entire DC cinematic universe becoming overly tainted by bad word of mouth and box office press clippings that may be hard for even these iconic characters to overcome.
Not to mention the continuity message this release may send to the fans, you also risk alienating the group of people who have seen this movie multiple times. If you release this cut of the film in theaters then you have to answer questions about where characters like Jena Malone’s Barbara Gordon, maybe Batgirl maybe Oracle fit into this cinematic universe Were if you release aspects like that on a directors cut, it could potentially be more easily be dismissed in future films.
Do you think the R rated cut of Batman Vs. Superman should get a theatrical release? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below or tweet me @thereelbradbell