7:32am PT by Pamela McClintock, Ashley Lee
Weekend Box Office: 'Justice League' Struggling to Hit $100M; 'Wonder' Wows
Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment's Justice League is failing to impress at the North America box-office, where it is struggling to hit $100 million in its debut.
That would mark the lowest domestic opening of the five DC Extended Universe films to date. Justice League grossed $38.8 million Friday from 4,051 theaters, including $13 million in Thursday previews.
Conversely, family-friendly drama Wonder, starring Julia Roberts and Jacob Tremblay, is vastly overperforming after nabbing an A+ CinemaScore. The movie grossed $9.7 million from 3,096 theaters on Friday for a projected $28 million launch (tracking had it at roughly $13 million).
Heading into the weekend, tracking showed Justice League — teaming Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash — flying past $110 million. The movie is no doubt being slowed by generally poor reviews and a mediocre B+ CinemaScore. Also, it opens just two weeks after Disney and Marvel Studios' Thor: Ragnarok, which unfurled to $122.7 million.
Justice League grossed roughly $38.7 million from 4,051 theaters on Friday. This summer, fellow DCEU pic Wonder Woman opened to $103 million. Snyder's Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice debuted to $166 million domestically in 2016, while Suicide Squad took in $133.7 million that same year. The DCEU series kicked off in 2013 with Man of Steel's $116.6 million debut.
The movie is finding more love overseas, where it has collected $70.7 million in its first three days for an expected global haul of $300 million-plus through Sunday. It is particularly impressing in Latin America, and is off to a pleasing start in China, where it took in $15 million on Friday.
Justice League stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Amy Adams, J.K. Simmons, Jesse Eisenberg and Willem Dafoe.
Earlier this year, Zack Snyder turned over directing duties to Avengers helmer Joss Whedon to deal with a family tragedy. Whedon penned the Justice League script with Chris Terrio. The movie has divided critics, and currently sports a rotten 40 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The story picks up after the events in Snyder's Dawn of Justice, as Batman and Wonder Woman assemble a team to defeat a new villain.
Directer Stephen Chbosky's Wonder is the film adaptation of R.J. Palacio's acclaimed novel about a young boy with a facial deformity who attends a mainstream school for the first time. Lionsgate, Participant Media, Walden Media and Mandeville Films partnered on the film, which also stars Owen WIlson.
The producers aggressively targeted elementary schools in marketing Wonder, a move that is paying off, with higher-than-usual group ticket sales.
Sony/Affirm's faith-based animated family movie The Star is projected to open in the $9 million-$10 million after grossing roughly $3 million from 2,837 theaters on Friday. Steven Yeun, Gina Rodriguez, Keegan-Michael Key and Oprah Winfrey lend their voices to the film, which tells the nativity story through the eyes of animals. Affirm produced The Star with Sony Pictures Animation, Walden, Franklin Entertainment and The Jim Henson Company on the film.
New openers at the specialty box office include Sony's Roman J. Israel, Esq. Denzel Washington stars in the thriller as a legal savant and Los Angeles attorney who is offered a job at a prestigious law firm after the death of his longtime partner. He then takes on a case that has life-altering repercussions. Nightcrawler helmer Dan Gilroy directs.
Nov. 18, 7:30 a.m. Updated with Friday grosses and revised weekend estimates.