There is growing rumbling within the community that Warner Bros. is genuinely worried that Batman v Superman might be as divisive as Man of Steel, according to a recent report from Hit Fix. They’ve been showing the film to the regular groups of people they normal do before a release, and the word is it’s getting a very mixed/divisive reaction, and this is making the studio very nervous.
Here’s what Hit Fix is hearing currently about the recent screenings.
This doesn’t speak to the quality of the film, but rather what the general audience could take away from the film, if it’s not pleasing or just plan messy it’s hard to get that much needed repeat business. Man of Steel‘s divisive reaction turned off a certain amount of the audience which led to it’s just-okay box office haul. At the time, it was seen as less than they had hoped, and if BVS has a similar turnout certain projects could get put on ice, since the new film looks to have larger price tag attached to it.
The talk is currently is that the combined production and marketing costs have skyrocketed to over $400 million, which would be terrifying to the studio, if they don’t think the film could recoup those costs. As crazy as it sounds, with that amount money put into Batman v Superman it would need to reach at least $1 billion worldwide to turn a profit. If it only made the same amount of money as Man of Steel it could spell trouble for Zack Snyder’s future in the DCCU and the Justice League production.
While everything I’ve heard from others concerning the film include people being very happy about Ben Affleck’s Batman, it’s kind of odd we haven’t heard much about the other people in the film. Mainly, Superman or any of his supporting characters outside of Lex Luthor (said to be a standout of the film). Warner Bros. isn’t some infallible entity, they’ve made some huge blunders in the past, all you have to do is look at Catwoman, Green Lantern, along with Batman and Robin, the latter helped to destroy the Batman franchise for some time.
The studio makes mistakes, and I’m not saying this film is a mistake, as I haven’t seen it, but it could have enough problems that could impact upcoming films if it doesn’t perform well.
Rumblings have started that Warner Bros. could look to replace Zack Snyder as director of Justice League if the film under-performs, or put the other projects on-hold entirely (excluding Wonder Woman). This isn’t new talk, there had been the same thing going around concerning if Snyder blew Man of Steel big time, they’d take away consideration for Justice League or the Man of Steel sequel (which turned out to be BVS).
Hit Fix speculates, that if the film doesn’t reach expectations in the first couple of weeks of opening, WB could end-up placing the next Batman film directed Ben Affleck in that release date. Affleck and writer Geoff Johns are currently working on the script, but I’m sure if the studio threw enough money at the situation (as suggested by Drew of Hit Fix) they could be ready to shoot, sooner than expected.
I’m hoping we get a good film, and it does end-up making the money the studio is looking for, if it doesn’t do well than that could have serious consequences on the productions of other DCCU projects. Even if Justice League is delayed a couple of years, and is replaced with The Batman, at least we’re getting more of Affleck’s Batman.