• Box Office

World Box Office, Nov 13 – Nov 19, 2017

This weekend Justice League started its global run with a bit less oomph than expected while Lionsgate’s underdog tale Wonder amazed as counterprogramming and surprised industry analysts with its impressive start. Warner Bros.’ tent pole offering for the year, a super hero mash up molded by Batman Vs Superman director Zack Snyder to rival The Avengers, began its US run with $96.5 million. Hot off her breakaway summer solo movie Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is joined by DC film stalwarts Batman, played by Ben Affleck, and Henry Cavill as Superman. Joining them are new big screen heroes Aquaman (Jason Momoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher.) JL picks up after the events of BvS in a world where the Man of Steel’s death has left the planet vulnerable to a catastrophic attack. Realizing the precarious state of the world’s security Batman puts together a team of superheroes to fend off any possible apocalyptic threat, which soon presents itself in an alien army led by the sinister general Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds).

The ensuing blood-fest elicited diverging reactions from critics and general audiences, with reviewers giving the film an overwhelmingly negative grade, while the public responded with a more positive B+ Cinemascore. So far it’s 44% below BvS’s $166 million opening, and 6.5% off of Wonder Woman’s $103.2 million launch. The real problem here for Warner Bros. is the film’s staggering production costs. Reported figures have League’s budget at $300 million, with at least another $450 million for P&A. With that amount of overhead success by comic book movie standards, it won’t be enough to make a significant profit. It’ll have to overcome this shaky debut weekend and transform itself into a $750 million plus hit in order to come good on that stratospheric investment.

Foreign plays went a bit better for Warner’s band of heroes. Openings in 65 territories netted $185.5 million, leaving it just ahead of Wonder Woman in corresponding markets, but close to 20% off of Batman Vs Superman’s international start. China was this film’s biggest overseas territory with $51.7 million, Warner’s second biggest frame in the country to date. Next was a record setting $14.2 million in Brazil, where it notched the South American nation’s biggest opening weekend of all time. UK plays were worth $9.8 million, while Mexican showings earned $9.6 million. Next up was South Korea on a somewhat low $8.8 million, followed by a decent $6.5 million in Russia. Justice League made a tidy $5.8 million in the Philippines, a WB record there. Global receipts are now at $281.5 million. With nearly every major market already in play, JL’s next and last remaining significant landing will be in Japan, starting next week.

Raw earnings certainly went the way of our overall chart topper but second placed North American film Wonder beat it handily on profit margins. Lionsgate’s heartfelt story about a severely disfigured fifth grader got off to an astounding start in the US and Canada, taking $27 million against a $20 million budget in a weekend were no one else dared to put a wide release up against DC’s mega-budget might. Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson play the parents of Auggie Wilson, a young boy born with a genetic disorder that causes motor and speech impairments as well as extreme facial deformities. This true story shows how a kid who after countless surgeries and interventions, who lived nearly all of his life in hospitals and never had a class that his mom didn’t teach, is able to withstand bullies, keep a positive attitude, and become a beloved student at his Manhattan elementary school. Foreign plays begin throughout the coming week.

On the specialty scene Denzel Washington’s Roman J. Israel, Esq. took off with a not so great $65K from four NY and LA theaters. Sophomore showings for Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri netted $1.115 million after a move into 53 theaters, keeping a very respectable average of $21K. A24’s Lady Bird meanwhile upped its screen count to 238 and made $2.5 million from its first major national expansion. It’s cume so far is $4.7 million.

Next weekend we’ll have a look at how Wonder Woman, Batman, and company hold up on their second outing, while Disney’s Coco finally moves North of the border into US theatres.

See the latest world box office estimates: