The wait is over and Justice League is now in theaters! Of course, any bonafide nerd property comes with a big Thursday night haul and the latest DC superhero pic is no exception, tallying up $13 million last night, per Warner Bros., which is a solid start, but perhaps not quite as strong as it sounds. Why’s that? Well, DCEU movies are traditionally frontloaded in their box office turnout.
Justice League‘s $13m puts it ahead of the $11m minted by Wonder Woman earlier this year. That film went on to a strong $103.3M opening and is currently sitting pretty as the second-highest grossing film over the year. However, Wonder Woman was a critical success and a watercooler cultural phenomenon, giving the film some serious legs. In that light, Justice League’s $13m is well behind the preview screenings for 2013’s Man of Steel ($21m), and last year’s Suicide Squad ($20m) and Batman v Superman ($27.7m).
The Friday numbers should be a much stronger indicator of what to expect from Justice League‘s opening weekend, with prediction ranging from grim ($80m) to moderate ($115m), but it’s not looking good for Justice League to match the record-breaking $170m opening cume grossed by Batman v Superman, or even the $133 grossed by Suicide Squad. Which is crazy when you consider how much hype was put into DC’s big superhero team-up. However, even if Justice League isn’t getting Wonder Women level reviews, critical response is up from Suicide Squad and BvS, so that may help the film play like a less front-loaded superhero pic.
For comparison, Disney/Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok recently grossed $14.5m off Thursday night previews and posted a three-day tally of $122.7m. Justice League‘s Thursday haul tops Deadpool ($12.7m) and Guardians of the Galaxy ($11.2m).
Stay tuned for the Friday numbers to get a clearer picture of how Justice League’s box office is shaping up.