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Justice League opens to disappointing $96 million in US

Justice League

Story by Jack Foley

DC’S latest superhero offering Justice League has opened to a disappointing $96 million in its US debut, well below the $110 million that had been projected.

The superhero mash-up, which unites Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg, posted the lowest US opening of any title in the DC Extended Universe, let alone the far more successful Marvel Cinematic Universe.

By way of comparison, The Avengers launched to a then-record $204.7 million in the US in 2012, followed by $191.3 million for Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015.

It also couldn’t come close to matching the $122.7 million US debut of Marvel’s recent Thor: Ragnarok two weeks ago, which unlike Justice League was a critical success.

When taking other DC titles into account, Justice League also fell way behind Wonder Woman, which opened to $103 million this summer. While Zack Snyder’s Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice debuted to $166 million in the US in 2016, while Suicide Squad hit $133.7 million that same year.

The DCEU series kicked off in 2013 with Man of Steel‘s $116.6 million debut.

Commenting on the opening of Justice League, Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. president of domestic distribution, said: “Our path to box-office success is different than what we thought. Given the extremely lucrative Thanksgiving week, we have a chance to hold audiences and ultimately come in at a good level.”

Internationally, the news was a little better. Justice League debuted to $185.5 million from 65 markets, including $51.7 million in China, for a global bow of $281.5 million.

The film is performing particularly well in Latin America, including Brazil, where it scored the biggest debut of all time ($14.2 million).

Back in the US, there was much better news for another of the weekend’s new releases, the indie drama Wonder, starring Julia Roberts, Jacob Tremblay and Owen Wilson.

The $20 million film, which is an adaptation of RJ Palacio’s acclaimed children’s novel about a young boy with a facial deformity who attends a mainstream school for the first time, stormed to an amazing $27.1 million.

Commenting on that film’s performance, Lionsgate chief brand officer and president of worldwide marketing Tim Palen said: “We had a beautiful book that had become part of the curriculum in many schools. And we had a beautiful movie that ended up getting an A+ CinemaScore. It hit every chord.”

Thor: Ragnarok followed in third spot with $21.8 million for a US total of $247.7 million. Overseas, it earned another $24.8 million for $738.1 million globally.

Festive comedy sequel Daddy’s Home 2, starring Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell and Mel Gibson, came in fourth with $14.8 million for a 10-day US total of $50.6 million, while ensemble thriller Murder on the Orient Express rounded out the top five with $13.8 million for a US tally of $51.7 million.

The film, directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh, grossed another $20.7 million overseas for $96.5 million internationally and $148.2 million globally.