It was pretty inevitable that Warner Bros. would be making an executive decision in the wake of Justice League‘s lackluster box office performance. The numbers don’t lie — the film won’t be making a profit. At least not anytime soon. Not with the millions that went into those reshoots and marketing. That being said, the studio had to do something in order to right the ship, which by all accounts, was sinking, and sinking fast.
And that is exactly what they are doing. In a major shakeup, WB is removing key figures from their current positions and is considering merging DC movies into the studio’s main film production arm. More on the story here below.
Variety was the first to report on the news. The shakeup comes in the wake of Justice League‘s poor box office tally. WB execs were reportedly unhappy with the numbers. The film, which was the studios’ superhero ensemble film that united all of DC Heroes, had a reported budget of $300 million, but has only managed to gross $573 million worldwide since its November release. Taking into account the amount of money WB has put into the marketing, the studio faces an uphill climb trying to break even. And based on the schedule, it looks like it won’t be happening.
According to their report, Jon Berg will no longer be the production head of the comic book movie line. He will still be at WB, working with Roy Lee on other projects that they are already collaborating on. WB Picture Group President Toby Emmerich told the Hollywood trade that he was happy that Berg would be continuing to work with them for the foreseeable future.
Now Emmerich will be looking for Berg’s replacement. Geoff Johns was the second half of the DCEU creative force. He will remain as DC Entertainment’s chief creative officer. However, his role may change as well. Johns may serve as an advisor going forward and have less of a creative influence. But that has yet to be confirmed.
We may also see WB DC’s film operations put into the studio’s main movie arm. This would mean that DC would not operate as an independent studio, unlike Disney, which lets Marvel Studios do its own thing. Fox and Sony are the other two studios that oversee their comic book movie properties.
The overhaul is expected to happen in January.
Zack Snyder‘s role over at DC is also unclear. While he was the one to launch the comic book universe with Man of Steel and its follow-up Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, he remains as a producer and executive producer for Wonder Woman 2 and Aquaman. There is a chance that he could direct other DC titles considering that he has a deal with WB. But it is said Time Warner, the company that owns WB, is unhappy that the studio constantly asks Snyder to be back. The parent company is equally upset that each new DCEU film makes less than the next, with the exception of Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, which was a hit both critically and commercially.
In other shocking news, Ben Affleck’s role in the DCEU may be done after Flashpoint, the Flash standalone film that is currently without a director. Word is that Matt Reeves wants fresh new talent for The Batman, his standalone Batman film, that is connected to the current DCEU, which leaves Affleck out in the cold and possibly gives him an out of his contract.