7:20am PT by Pamela McClintock
'Justice League' Tracking for $110M-Plus for U.S. Launch
With three weeks left to go before its big-screen debut, DC Comics and Warner Bros.' Justice League is tracking to open in the $110 million-$120 million range domestically, according to early surveys.
That would put it behind such DC titles as Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice ($166 million) and Suicide Squad ($133.7 million). Box-office observers note that Warners has yet to make its final marketing push. Also, rival superhero title Thor: Ragnarok, which debuts domestically on Nov. 3, could be obscuring tracking. Thor could debut as high as $125 million for Marvel Studios and Disney.
The all-star superhero tentpole — directed by Zack Snyder with additional input from filmmaker Joss Whedon — is a key moment for the DC Extended Universe, which hopes to emulate the success rival Marvel Studios has enjoyed with its Avengers franchise.
Justice League takes place months after the events in Snyder's Batman v. Superman. In the story, Batman (Ben Affleck) unites with Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Superman (Henry Cavill), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) to battle Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds). Amy Adams, J.K. Simmons, Diane Lane, Jeremy Irons and Connie Nielsen also star.
In May, Snyder handed the filmmaking baton to Whedon following the death of Snyder's daughter, Autumn, in March. Whedon was tasked with postproduction duties, as well as shooting additional scenes, some of which he wrote.
Whedon was an obvious choice to take on the project, having directed The Avengers, which debuted to a record-breaking $207.4 million in summer of 2012. Whedon also helmed Avengers: Age of Ultron for Marvel and Disney.
DCEU's biggest win to date is Wonder Woman, which was both a critical darling and a box-office hit. Directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gadot, the superhero film shattered numerous records following its $103.2 million domestic debut in June. To date, Wonder Woman has earned $821.6 million globally, making it the top-grossing film of all time from a female helmer with solo directing duties.
It's shaping up to be a busy November for superhero fare, with Justice League opening only two weeks after Thor: Ragnarok.