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mygif

I agree with the majority of your statement, save and except for the (apparent?) conclusion that it is unfortunate if the talented and interesting people are deserting DC properties.

Since a failure on such a property can wreck a promising career, I’d probably prefer that these people avoid the oncoming train wreck and actually work on the properties they can discover and / or create themselves.

Getting sucked into multi-decade franchises can mean vastly reduced output from talented directors – cf Raimi, Cameron.

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mygif

Aside from your conclusion, which I don’t agree with but it’s a matter of personal taste, I strongly disagree with this sentiment:
“These films are not judged on the absolute money they make, but on the money they make relative to each other, because their job is not to make money.”

It is absolutely their job to make money. The studios are a for-profit company. That’s why you have 8 Fast & Furious movies. No one over there thinks they’re any good. They just make a lot of money. So they make them again and again.

BTV was supposed to make billions, like Dark Knight or The Avengers. It might create backlash if it didn’t make as much money as it was supposed to. But if it makes enough money for the studio, they might just stuck with Snyder.

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Sisyphus said on May 2nd, 2016 at 11:12 am

The definition of “enough money for the studio,” though is something like a billion dollars. Missing that by 150 million (15% of your target) is probably not going to make the studio happy.

I don’t know why directors are jumping off of DC properties like they’re on fire. But I suspect it has to do with a combination of factors. Flash, for example, was always going to be a problem for the Murderverse. Assuming Barry Allen, he’s a naturally optimistic and lighthearted guy. He’s not going to fit in well with neck-breaking utterly alien Superman or neo-fascist machine-gunning Batman.

So I think that, if I were a first time director looking at these facts, and I was getting notes from Snyder saying “More gritty realism, less of this hippy-dippy crap where the Flash is cracking jokes.” Yeah, I might quit. It’s a big payday, potentially, but you better hope it’s big enough to live on for the rest of your life, because that could end a career.

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mygif

@Itai Assaf Raizman-Greif: It was a joke that may have fallen flat. I said, “…their job is not to make money. Their job is to make (…) obscene, world-shattering money…”

Basically, if all a summer tentpole movie does is clear $20 mil in profit, it’s a failure even though twenty million dollars is a lot of money by our standards, because big studio movies like this are supposed to make enough money to cover up four or five gambles that failed on the accounting balances. :)

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mygif

I’m just happy with the term “DC Murderverse”.

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Zifnab said on May 2nd, 2016 at 4:05 pm

Just gotta pin our hopes on Suicide Squad.
If Ayers can produce a hit worthy of the name, maybe whatever clown car is driving the cinema division of the DCU will sit up and take notice.

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Sisyphus said on May 2nd, 2016 at 4:16 pm

@Jake, though I also love the term, I can’t claim it as my own. Although I have to say, it’s such great shorthand to distinguish between the DC movies, which make me sad, and the TV shows, which are uneven, but generally joyful.

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mygif

Yeah, I believe that “DC Murderverse” was coined by Rob Bricken on io9. It’s just such a great name for it, though!

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mygif

@John,

Agree with your gist, but here’s a little “insider” math that the situation is even more dire than it looks at first blush:

Current worldwide gross for BvS is ~$862M – but that’s *gross* that’s what the theatres take in total sales, not what they pass on to the studio/distributor. The exact amount varies on a film by film basis but a good napkin calculation is “about 50%” – and money from foreign markets (which is >60% of the BvS take) can be a lot less depending on local taxes, entertainment levies, and currency implications).

PLUS the films “production budget” (reportedly ~$250M) doesn’t include the “p&a” (prints and advertising) costs which (reportedly) adds another $150M.

Taken all together, it’s entirely possible that the film had actual costs >$400M and has made <$400M 6 weeks into it's release.

Yes, tentpoles have lots of other revenue streams – but that's not good math no matter *what* business you're in.

For anyone interested, I go into slightly more detail (using BvS as an example) here:

https://www.quora.com/Why-does-a-film-have-to-make-two-to-three-times-its-production-cost-to-make-a-profit

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mygif

Just gotta pin our hopes on Suicide Squad.
If Ayers can produce a hit worthy of the name, maybe whatever clown car is driving the cinema division of the DCU will sit up and take notice.

Because when I look for a lighthearted, fun counterpoint to the current DC cinematic universe, the first thing that comes to mind is Suicide Squad, all right.

Sorry for the sarcasm, I have no idea whether Suicide Squad will actually turn out to be good on its own merits. All I’m saying is, it really doesn’t look like the next DC movie will have the mood that people who were disappointed by BVS are looking for. Wonder Woman and/or Justice League, maybe.

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Tenken347 said on May 4th, 2016 at 3:51 pm

Actually, I think the biggest problem is the tremendous negative buzz that BvS generated. It made money, but it also kinda guaranteed that, at best, the next franchise film was going to make a lot less money. I can’t imagine how hard it would be right now to sell people on a Justice League film, and BvS+WW should have made that a slam-dunk.

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Chris G said on May 6th, 2016 at 9:24 am

More comparative numbers: As of Wednesday, BS had a domestic gross of $326 million. That puts it $114 million behind Age of Ultron, $98 million behind Dark Knight Rises, and $70 million behind Iron Man 3 at the same point in the theatrical run of each of those films.

Look at it this way: If BS was doing as well as Ultron, its global box office would be almost a billion dollars.

Tenken347’s point about negative buzz is a good one. Reviews eviscerating BS became almost a genre unto themselves, and I think BS has firmly entered the “blockbuster nobody liked” category. This is not a foundation on which to build a series of interlocking movies for the next couple of decades. But WB also can’t change course too easily, since they’ve got Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman on deck and Justice League in production. I think filming on that has begun, but there has been nothing in terms of hype, interviews, set leaks, etc. about it.

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